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Blue Badge fraudsters prosecuted in county council crackdown

PUBLISHED: 14:28 30 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:28 30 November 2017

Norfolk County Council have cracked down on people using Blue Badges incorrectly. Picture: Archant

Norfolk County Council have cracked down on people using Blue Badges incorrectly. Picture: Archant

Archant

Scores of motorists have faced prosecution this year after the county council enforced a major crackdown on Blue Badge misuse.

A street side questioning of a driver with a Blue Badge. Picture: ArchantA street side questioning of a driver with a Blue Badge. Picture: Archant

More than 80 drivers have faced prosecution in this year alone for mistreatment of a blue badge, including a legitimate permit without the badge holder being in the vehicle.

Four people across the county have also been sucessfully prosecuted in the past few months, and were charged with fines between £250 to £280 for parking on either double yellow lines or in disabled bays without a disabled passenger.

Martin Wilby, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Environment, Development and Transport committee, said: “The prosecutions send a clear message that Blue Badge misuse is wrong and we stand with blue badge holders whose lifeline can be taken away by people breaking the law.

“It’s thankfully just a small number of people who choose to misuse a blue badge but sadly this is not a victimless crime. So we will continue to ask people to proudly show us your badge if asked by a Civil Parking Enforcement officer as this helps us to make sure people stay within the law.”

More than 35,000 people in Norfolk are Blue Badge holders, and some are often unaware they are on the wrong side of the law if they have forgotten to update their permit.

Jim Blake, Norfolk County Council’s Blue Badge Investigator, said: “We’ve found that the vast majority of people are using their blue badge correctly and my aim is to support all these people who are doing the right thing.

“I’ve seen a few common errors over the past year which the team have reminded people not to do again such as someone using an expired badge when they would qualify for a new badge, and failing to return an expired badge.”

He added: “Remember if you believe you’ve seen someone using a blue badge fraudulently please do let us know.”

The 82 cases of Blue Badge fraud investigated this year have been dealt with on an individual basis, with most offenders being given a written or verbal warning, as well as receiving advice on how to keep their badge legitimate.

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