Crackdown on blue badge abuse in Redcar and Cleveland

19 November 2021

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council is stepping up efforts to clamp down on those who misuse disabled parking badges.

In a joint approach between the council’s Civil Enforcement Officers and Veritau – who investigate fraud on behalf of the council – additional work is underway to proactively identify and tackle badge misuse in the area.

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.

Council staff and our fraud officers worked in collaboration to stage two ‘enforcement days’ to ensure that blue badges were being displayed correctly. One was held in June and another in October.

Enforcement days involve badges being identified by the civil enforcement officers with Veritau’s fraud officers undertaking checks to establish correct usage.

Nearly 100 badges were checked over the course of the two days, with five tickets issued for parking contraventions. One badge was also confiscated by an enforcement officer.

Eight investigations were opened by the counter fraud team following the suspicions of misuse raised during the enforcement days. Two cautions and a warning have been issued, and several cases are still ongoing.

Enforcement officers reported that the day was successful and reaction from most members of the public was very positive.

Councillor Julie Craig, member for Neighbourhoods, Highways and Transport, said:

“The majority of blue badges are used correctly, but unfortunately abuse of the scheme does occur. When someone uses a blue badge without the owner present, it means that parking isn’t available for those with a genuine need to park in a restricted area. We are pleased our enforcement officers and fraud investigators are working together to tackle this abuse.”

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.

To find out more about the blue badge scheme in Redcar and Cleveland, please visit the council’s website.