People who fraudulently use Blue Badges to park in disabled bays and avoid parking charges are being given the opportunity to hand over permits without penalty.An amnesty for Blue Badges being misused in Brighton & Hove starts on Monday, 8 June. Drivers can hand in the badges at Bart’s House in Brighton, or Hove Town Hall until Monday, June 22 without any further action taken.
Last month Brighton and Hove successfully prosecuted seven motorists for misuse of disabled Blue Badges, including a building society manager, two bus drivers and a rest home manager.
The prosecutions followed the latest round of Operation Bluebird, a crackdown by Brighton and Hove City Council, East Sussex County Council and Sussex Police.
Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the city’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “The partnership with East Sussex and the police means that we can work much more effectively to make sure Blue Badges and disabled parking spaces are used by the people who need them.
“Education is key and we are offering people the opportunity to hand in Blue Badges if they are not entitled to use them which will help free up spaces and increase access for disabled people.”
The city became the first in the country to offer offenders the option of a community resolution order to highlight the effects of depriving disabled people of parking spaces in a video, together with a financial penalty, instead of receiving a criminal record. More than 20 offenders have already completed resolution orders.
There are around 13,000 blue badges in Brighton & Hove and a further 24,000 in East Sussex. The Audit Commission estimates that 20% of blue badges are misused.