Councils and Veritau crackdown on Blue Badge abuse

12 June 2024

Parking enforcement officers and fraud investigators at City of York Council, Middlesbrough Council and Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council worked together to crack down and help detect blue badge abuse on Friday 24 May as part of the National Blue Badge Day of Action.

The event saw 119 councils from across the country take part to help tackle blue badge misuse.

Veritau teamed up with council officers to check blue badges were being used lawfully.

For a badge to be used correctly, it must be displayed in a parked vehicle where the badge owner is present, or the driver is parking specifically to pick up or drop off the badge owner. Misusing a blue badge is a criminal offence, with offenders facing possible prosecution, and a fine of up to £1,000.

Proactive days of action are an opportunity for local authorities to make sure that blue badges are being used correctly in the community. Badges are identified by the council’s enforcement officers, with Veritau’s fraud officers contacting the badge owner, to ensure that the use is appropriate.

177 badges were checked over the course of the day, with 3 tickets issued for parking contraventions.

Parking enforcement officers reported that the day was successful in tackling blue badge abuse and reaction from most members of the public was very positive.

Max Thomas, Chief Executive at Veritau, said:

“We take all forms of fraud very seriously. We are committed to ensuring disabled people’s continued access to services, employment and activities which this annual day of action supports.”

Helen Whiting, Chief Officer – HR and Support Services – at City of York Council, said:

“Over 7,200 York residents have Blue Badges and we know the misuse of these badges is a concern.”

Cllr Janet Thompson, Executive member for Community Safety at Middlesbrough Council, said:

“The rules around using Blue Badges are very clear and I’m pleased that we take action to ensure they are being used correctly.

“It’s in the interests of people who need to use a Blue Badge and indeed all road users that this work takes place.”

Jay Hosie, Service Lead for Community Safety & Streetscene for Redcar Cleveland Borough Council, said:

“The Blue Badge scheme is an amazing system helping many people with health conditions or disabilities have easier access to places they need to go.

“If people abuse this system, it means disabled bays are being taken up, and the disabled community are left without access to shops, services, or meeting up with friends, which can leave them feeling incredibly isolated. It’s so important we tackle fraudulent use, so these bays are available for those who really need them.”

 

Members of the public with any information on fraudulent activity against the council are encouraged to phone the counter fraud hotline on 0800 9179 247, or email [email protected]. You can remain anonymous, and all concerns are treated seriously.