Councils and Veritau crackdown on Blue Badge abuse
12 June 2023
On 26 May, as part of a National Blue Badge Day of Action, parking enforcement officers and fraud investigators from City of York Council, Middlesbrough Council and Redcar and Cleveland Council worked together to crackdown and help tackle the abuse of blue badges.
The nationwide Day of Action saw over 80 councils from across the country take part to help cut down on the wrongful use of blue badges.
Officers responsible for parking enforcement worked with Veritau – the organisation that investigates fraud on behalf of the three councils – to check that displayed blue badges were being used correctly.
A blue badge must only be displayed in a parked vehicle where the badge owner is present, or the driver is specifically parking to pick up or drop off the badge owner. It’s an offence to misuse a badge, with offenders facing possible prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.
‘Action days’ ensure that blue badges are being displayed correctly. Badges are identified by the council’s enforcement officers, with our fraud officers undertaking checks to establish correct usage.
Over the course of the day and across the three councils, a total of 140 badges were checked, three penalty charge notices were issued with one of these resulting in a badge confiscation.
Cllr Janet Thompson, Executive member for Community Safety at Middlesbrough Council, said:
“It’s important that Blue Badges are used appropriately and the Council welcomed the opportunity to take part in this day of action alongside Veritau.”
Pauline Stuchfield, Director of Customer and Communities at City of York Council, said:
“Over 7,200 Blue Badges are held in York and we know that fraudulent use of them is a concern for the disabled community. However, as not all disabilities are visible and to avoid causing any unnecessary stress for a genuine Blue Badge owner, please report any suspected misuse of a Blue Badge to Veritau rather than challenge an individual directly.”
Neil Ferris, Director of Place at City of York Council, said:
“We take concerns about all forms of fraud very seriously. The misuse of Blue Badges has the added consequence of depriving disabled people of facilities specifically provided to meet their needs. The day of action aims to support disabled people’s continued access to services, employment and activities.”
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.