Parking fraudsters get blue badges seized

Disabled bays were being used by fraudulent blue badge holders.

Disabled bays were being used by fraudulent blue badge holders.

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A crackdown by East Dunbartonshire Council’s Community Safety Team on drivers misusing Blue Badges has resulted in seven badges being seized.

Since 2014, and the introduction of new powers for Councils, the team has been monitoring the use of Blue Badges and, in response to an increase in customer complaints, a two week targeted crackdown on offenders was run in October.

As a result of the increased activity, 62 Blue Badges were inspected where Officers had reason to query their use. In the majority of cases, drivers were warned but in seven cases, the badges were seized.

Council Leader Rhondda Geekie praised the efforts of the team in tackling an issue which is of concern to many local people.

She said: “Blue badges are a lifeline for many people. Being able to park close to where you want to go makes life so much easier for those who need to do that. To see people who do not need the badge, using it and taking up a Blue Badge parking space, is galling. It’s wrong and it’s important that people know we are checking.”

Under the terms of the Disabled Persons’ Parking Badges (Scotland) Act 2014 misuse of a Blue Badge includes where the family or friends of a Blue Badge holder use the badge without that person with them. It also includes displaying an out-of-date badge.

Ensuring that Blue Badges are used properly is down to the badge holder. It is a criminal offence for anyone to misuse a badge and can result in a £1000 fine, a criminal record and confiscation of the badge.

Councillor Geekie added: “Feedback from local people about the crackdown has been positive. If people’s consciences do not prevent them misusing a Blue Badge then I hope the threat of being caught does. The Council has powers to seize badges and cancel them and the ultimate sanction by the courts is a £1,000 fine.”

If you have information about the misuse of a Blue Badge please call the council on 0300 1234 510 in confidence and ask for the Community Safety team.

There is more information about the Blue Badge scheme and how to apply for one on the council’s website at www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk.