Twenty people in Brighton and Hove hand in blue badges under amnesty

Posted On 18 Jun 2015 at 6:06 pm

A blue badge amnesty in Brighton and Hove has led to 21 people handing in badges, including 10 belonging to people who had died.

Brighton and Hove City Council said: “More than 20 motorists who have been fraudulently using blue badges in Brighton and Hove have seen the error of their ways and handed them over.

“The motorists have been responding to Brighton and Hove City Council’s blue badge amnesty which ends on Monday (22 June).

“The amnesty gave drivers who had been using the badges to park in disabled bays and avoid parking charges two weeks to hand them in at council offices.

“Of the 21 badges handed in, 10 belonged to deceased people.”

Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said: “We are pleased that our blue badge amnesty has encouraged these motorists to change their behaviour and hand over the blue badges.

“The amnesty, combined with our community resolution orders and prosecution of persistent offenders, is proving to be an effective way to reduce blue badge fraud and ensure that parking spaces are available for those who genuinely need them.”

The council said that there are about 13,000 blue badges in Brighton and Hove and a further 24,000 in East Sussex. The Audit Commission estimated that 20 per cent of blue badges are misused.

Last year the council was awarded £183,000 in government funding to help crack down on the misuse of blue badges and free up spaces for disabled people.

The funding paid for two blue badge fraud investigation officers who operate across East Sussex and Brighton and Hove to improve detection and share intelligence.

The council said that its partnership with East Sussex County Council and Sussex Police also became the first in the country to offer offenders the option of a community resolution order.

Offenders watch video footage to highlight the effects of depriving disabled people of parking spaces rather than receive a criminal record.

More than 20 offenders have already completed resolution orders, the council said.

The council also recently successfully prosecuted seven motorists for blue badge fraud, who received fines of up to £600.

Simon Kirby, the Conservative MP for Brighton Kemptown, successfully piloted a bill through Parliament to make it easier for councils to tackle blue badge fraud.

  1. Sheila Rough Reply

    Whilst it is pleasing that 21 fraudulent users of Blue Badges have handed theirs in there are still a lot being used that shouldn’t be. As a Blue Badge holder I get annoyed when I see spaces taken by vehicles who obviously are using someone else’s badge. Builders vehicles come to mind, and people who leave the owner, usually elderly, sitting in the car while they go shopping. Glad this fraud is being taken seriously.

  2. Suewashere Reply

    On a different note, I have spoken to several people who are carers who don’t seem to be aware that you are able to get a Carers Permit.

    I’m not sure exactly what concessions it gives but in a city where it can be very difficult to park and where you may be running errands or helping a cared for person at times when use of their blue badge would not be valid, this might be helpful.

    Contact the Parking centre for more information.

  3. Albert Hartstein Reply

    They get £183k to crack down on fraud…. and then waste £270k to get rid of a CEO ????? Someone in the council needs to do their sums correctly in future!

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