Blue badge scammers hit with hefty fines as Redbridge council cracks down
- Credit: Archant
Four blue badge cheats have been hit with fines and costs of more than £4,000 as Redbridge Council continues its crackdown on abuse of the permits.
The fraudsters were caught red handed, and ordered to pay the fines totalling £4,106 for misusing the badges on the borough's streets when they appeared at Barkingside Magistrates' Court on Friday February 14.
It is the latest in a wave of prosecutions that began last year, under the council's zero-tolerance approach to blue badge fraud.
The council has checked hundreds of badges, with most of the cases brought to court involving people using someone else's badge to avoid paying for parking and some successful prosecutions have also resulted in driving bans.
The Leader of the Council, Cllr Jas Athwal, commented: "Blue badges exist to help disabled people have easier access to local amenities like GP surgeries, shops and libraries.
"People who choose to misuse the badges to steal parking spaces from those who need them will be caught and prosecuted."
Cllr Helen Coomb, Member for Transformation and Engagement said there is no excuse for blue badge cheats, especially when the council provides street parking bays that offer 60 minutes free parking.
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She added: "Anyone using a blue badge fraudulently is taking away a valuable parking space from those in genuine need of it, making it even harder for people with mobility issues to go about their daily business.
"The permits are issued to people who face real difficulty in getting around and are a vital lifeline."
Blue badges should only be displayed if the blue badge holder is travelling in the vehicle as a driver or passenger, or if someone is collecting the blue badge holder or dropping them off and needs to park at the place where the blue badge holder is being collected or dropped.
Misuse is a criminal offence and can result in a maximum fine of £1,000.
For more information on the blue badge scheme in Redbridge, go to www.redbridge.gov.uk/parking/blue-badge/.
To report suspected blue badge fraud, call 0800 633 5267 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.