Ealing Council’s ongoing crackdown on the illegal use of disabled parking permits saw 61 offenders successfully prosecuted in the last financial year, the fifth highest number in the United Kingdom.
It marks a busy 2018, which also saw the council’s parking services fraud investigation team check more than 3,700 blue badges for validity and seize 145 for suspected misuse.
Blue badges are issued to people with serious mobility problems and disabilities. They allow people who need extra help to park closer to their home or destination.
Blue badges can only be used by the named badge holder, or by a person who has dropped off or is collecting the badge holders from a place where the vehicle is parked. It is a criminal offence for anyone else to use a blue badge in any other circumstances. Misuse can result in a maximum fine of £1,000, a criminal prosecution and even a prison sentence.
Councillor Mik Sabiers, cabinet member for environment and highways said: “We always take tough action against selfish people who commit blue badge fraud and the fact that we are amongst the top five authorities in the country for prosecutions highlights our commitment to zero tolerance.
“People may think they are doing no harm if they quickly use a blue badge that doesn’t belong to them, but what these drivers need to realise is that they are usually blocking someone with genuine mobility problems from being able to park and are breaking the law.
“We will continue to work alongside the police to tackle blue badge misuse and fine and prosecute offenders. We will ensure that the service remains in place to help those who need extra support.”
Residents that suspect someone of using a blue badge fraudulently, or who would like to report a blue badge as being lost or stolen or let the council know that the circumstances of the badge holder has changed, should call 020 8825 8161.
Prosecutions statistics are from April 2017-April 2018 with further prosecutions successfully taking place since then.