17 July 2018
Prosecution for blue badge misuse
An investigation carried out by City of York Council has uncovered and successfully prosecuted a case of Blue Badge fraud in the city.
A man was caught misusing his son’s blue badge on Tower Street in December 2017. An investigation into the misuse was conducted by Veritau, the council’s fraud investigation service, following information received from a Civil Enforcement Officer.
The defendant parked opposite Castle Car Park in a bay reserved for disabled people. Under national regulations, a blue badge can only be used when the badge holder is present or being picked up or dropped off close to where the car is parked displaying the badge. This is to allow people with disabilities to have improved access in the city centre and other areas where they require it.
He originally claimed that he had been picking his son up on the day in question. However, during the course of the investigation he was interviewed under caution and when shown the weight of evidence admitted that he had been travelling into York to get his hair cut and that his son had not been with him.
The investigation concluded with the defendant pleading guilty to the charge of wrongful use of a disabled person’s badge by post and he was sentenced in York Magistrates Court on 17 July.
In mitigation he said he had been running late for his appointment and that he usually uses the Park & Ride but he made a stupid mistake on the day in question and was sorry for this.
The man was given a £105 fine and ordered to pay costs of £372 and a surcharge of £30, to be paid within 28 days.
Councillor Helen Douglas, executive member with responsibility for fraud, said: “Blue Badge fraud is not a victimless crime and deprives disabled people in genuine need of a parking space the increased ease of access that they require.