An investigation carried out by Veritau on behalf of the City of York Council resulted in a prosecution for Disabled Blue Badge fraud.
On 23 October, York Magistrates sentenced a couple from Malton to a 12-month conditional discharge each and ordered each to pay £200 in costs and £20 in surcharges.
The defendant, from Malton, was found using a family member’s Blue Badge in York city centre in April 2018. He later provided false information to the council on the matter. His wife was also found to have provided false information to the council regarding her husband’s actions.
A Blue Badge can only be used when the badge holder is present or being picked up or dropped off at the point where the car is parked displaying the badge.
A council Civil Enforcement Officer encountered the man using a Blue Badge. He claimed he was picking up the badge holder and his wife who were nearby. However, he drove away after he was issued with a Penalty Charge Notice.
Later that day his wife called the council to complain that her husband had been parked waiting to pick up her and the badge holder, and that they were now both stranded in York. Several weeks later the couple submitted paperwork which repeated this allegation in an attempt to have the parking fine cancelled.
During Veritau’s investigation the man admitted that his wife and the badge holder were not in York when he displayed the badge, and that at the time his wife was at their home in Malton. He told investigators that he wanted to visit the city centre during his lunch hour and to save time he used the badge. His wife admitted to investigators that she made the phone call to the council because she was worried about the consequences, should her husband’s actions be investigated further.
The couple pleaded guilty to all charges at York Magistrates’ Court on 23 October 2018.
Anyone with information on possible fraudulent activity should phone the fraud hotline on 0800 9179 247 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.