Bath & North East Somerset Council has secured six successful prosecutions in its fight against disabled blue badge fraud, with the offenders ordered to pay a total of over £6k in fines, costs and victim surcharges.
This month five people pleaded guilty to misusing a blue badge at Bath Magistrates Court, with one other person found guilty in their absence.
The offenders were ordered to pay the total of £6,402 in fines, costs and victim surcharges for using a family member’s blue badge while they were not present.
The results follow Council operations looking for misuse of the badges in the district which have been ongoing since November 2014.
Councillor Anthony Clarke (Conservative, Lansdown), Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “Blue Badge fraud is a serious crime that prevents people who genuinely have a disability from being able to find a suitable space to park.
“We will always come down hard on anyone that we catch misusing a blue badge, whether this is through a stolen or fake badge or using a badge that applies to a friend or family member. I would urge anyone who spots someone misusing a blue badge to report it to the Council.
“By working together to tackle this crime we can ensure that genuine blue badge users have the chance they deserve to find a parking space and enjoy our area.”
The maximum fine if someone is convicted of misusing a blue badge is £1,000 and a ban from driving or even a custodial sentence is the badge is fake or stolen.
If you suspect blue badge fraud is taking place, please report it to Parking Services on 01225 477133/4 or firstname.lastname@example.org with as many details as possible from the badge on display, including name, serial number and expiry date.
However, please do not approach people you suspect of misusing a badge.
A blue badge is only for use when a badge holder is driving, being driven somewhere or being picked up.
For more information on blue badges, visit http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/parking-and-travel/accessible-parking/blue-badge.