Fewer blue badge thefts in Brighton and Hove

Posted On 16 Jul 2011 at 7:40 pm

The number of blue badges being stolen from disabled drivers in Brighton and Hove has fallen sharply.

The 25 per cent drop in blue badge thefts has been attributed by Brighton and Hove City Council to a joint scheme with Sussex Police.

The scheme makes it easier for parking wardens to check whether a badge has been lost or stolen or whether it belongs to someone who has died.

Parking wardens, employed by the contractor NSL, can now carry out a quick check on their handheld computers when they are on patrol.

The scheme protects disabled drivers or people who have mobility problems and those who have a blue badge because they act as driver for someone who has limited mobility.

The council said that last year 118 lost or stolen badges were identified and the details sent to Sussex Police, including 57 badges reported as stolen.

The police investigate all reports relating to stolen or fraudulent blue badges and have dealt with a significant number of suspects for these offences.

Councillor Ian Davey, the council’s cabinet member for transport and the public realm, said: “This is welcome news.

“This was a trial operation and we are now making it permanent.

“Those who steal blue badges are taking disabled bays away from those who genuinely need them.

“It is vital that disabled people can park close to where they want to go so that they can access the city and be as independent as the rest of us.”

Inspector Jason Hazzard said: “The theft of blue badges causes a huge amount of distress to victims.

“People who buy stolen badges need to know that it’s going to cost them a lot more in the long run and with this process in place they will be caught sooner or later.”

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