Officers from East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s fraud investigation team have found 11 incidents of blue badge fraud in the Driffield area.
Patrols were increased following contact from the police that they, and residents, had witnessed an increase in blue badge fraud in the town centre area.
Officers, accompanied by local police community support officers, carried out three patrols and identified those abusing the system as well as raising awareness with the public about how they can report their concerns directly to the council.
During the three occasions, 119 blue badges were seen in use and drivers and badge users were spoken to and badges checked for validity.
Of those 119, 11 were found to be misusing the blue badges. Details of the individuals were taken and they will be contacted further by the council’s fraud investigators.
Anyone who parks in a restricted area and displays a blue badge, whilst using it for the benefit of anyone other than the badge holder, not only contravenes parking regulations but also commits an offence under section 117 of the Road Traffic Act 1984.
Blue badge fraud and abuse committed by individuals who are not entitled to them has a significant impact on genuine badge holders as they are prevented them from accessing essential facilities whilst retaining their independence.
Fraud or misuse is committed when a person obtains or uses a blue badge unlawfully and this includes:
- using a badge for the benefit of anyone other than the badge holder
- misrepresenting, exaggerating or falsely stating a condition in order to obtain a blue badge
- forging, manipulating or producing a badge in order to misrepresent validity
- failing to report a change in health circumstance that would result in the loss of a blue badge.
Andy Hardy, fraud investigation manager at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The feedback we have received from the public and genuine badge holders has been very positive.
“The work we have done with the police has highlighted that a number of individuals are willing to misuse the scheme and in doing so are denying access to those in genuine need.
“We have seen drivers who believe it is acceptable for them to use another person’s blue badge when collecting shopping or running errands for them and it is not.
“This is blue badge misuse for which you can be prosecuted and upon conviction can be fined up to £1,000.”
Anyone who suspects blue badge fraud in the East Riding of Yorkshire can call the council’s fraud hotline, in confidence, on (01482) 394949 or email@example.com