Eight drivers face court charged with blue badge abuse

Posted On 13 May 2015 at 5:39 pm

Eight drivers are due in court on Friday (15 May) accused of misusing disabled blue badges.

The cases follow the latest round of Operation Bluebird, a crackdown by Brighton and Hove City Council, East Sussex County Council and Sussex Police.

The defendants will appear at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court from 10am.

Most have indicated guilty pleas, Brighton and Hove City Council said today (Wednesday 13 May).

The council’s head of transport Mark Prior said: “These prosecutions send out a clear message that blue badge misuse is being addressed in the city.

Mark Prior

Mark Prior

“The blue badge scheme is intended to make sure parking spaces are available for people who genuinely need them.

“We will continue to work with Sussex Police and East Sussex County Council to crack down on misuse of blue badges and ensure that people with disabilities can get to and enjoy everything Brighton and Hove has to offer.

The council won £183,000 of government funding last year to tackle blue badge abuse as part of a joint project with Sussex Police and East Sussex County Council.

 

If the crackdown succeeds, more parking spaces will be available for disabled people.

 

The council said that the money was being used to help track down people who were misusing the badges, which are issued to disabled people so that they can park more easily.

 

It was also being spent on raising awareness about how blue badges should be used and the consequences of blue badge fraud.

 

Both councils provided extra funding of £30,000.

 

Brighton and Hove became the first council in the country to offer offenders the option of a community resolution order.

 

Offenders pay a financial penalty and are shown a video to highlight the effects of depriving disabled people of parking spaces instead of receiving a criminal record.

 

More than 20 offenders have already completed resolution orders.

 

There are about 13,000 blue badges in Brighton and Hove and a further 24,000 in East Sussex.

 

The Audit Commission estimates that 20 per cent of blue badges are misused.

 

Money from the Department for Communities and Local Government has funded two blue badge fraud investigation officers operating across East Sussex and Brighton and Hove to improve detection and share intelligence.

 

In recent years Brighton and Hove has worked with Sussex Police and parking enforcement contractor NSL on Operation Bluebird, an initiative to target stolen blue badges and highlight fraud. The funding allowed the work to continue and be extended.

 

  1. my Reply

    They should check out th blue badge holders on Davigdor road. Never seen so many, nor so many “able” bodied people using them in one area.

  2. Gerald Wiley Reply

    I hope those found guilty are named and shamed.

    That “Offenders pay a financial penalty and are shown a video to highlight the effects of depriving disabled people of parking spaces instead of receiving a criminal record.” is, IMHO, just a pathetically weak response – I’m sure they knew full well they were acting fraudulently!

    It would also be helpful if the badges showed the picture of the person claiming the badge, and that there could be a mechanism for reporting suspected fraudulent usage.

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