Doncaster blue badge fraudsters avoid punishment due to backlog in the courts

A number of people have been prosecuted for fraud across Doncaster by using parking blue badges illegally but a backlog in the court has led to avoiding punishment.

Monday, 29th November 2021, 6:28 pm
Disabled parking

Council bosses said they have successfully prosecuted six people for blue badge fraud while a further six were given a ‘written warning’.

Another four people are still awaiting a court date while the council dropped cases against four other drivers who were alleged to have fraudulently used a blue badge. No further action was taken against them.

Council bosses added that prosecutions have been lower in reporting period, primarily due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and a backlog in the court was partially to blame.

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They added that reduced activity in town centre locations is directly ‘leading to lower levels of contraventions’ and therefore, lower levels of enforcement activity.

Blue badge fraud occurs where individuals misuse a blue badge, which is issued to people with reduced mobility.

This can include the use of badges by family or friends where the disabled person is not present or the use of badges where the individual the badge was issued to is now deceased.

Blue badge fraud reduces the council’s parking revenue and takes up valuable spaces for less mobile and/or elderly persons.

Other statistics show that DMBC issued 14,462 parking fines to drivers across the borough. This was up on the previous year where DMBC workers handed out 11,010.

Council bosses also said the authority had made ‘notional savings’ from potential blue badge fraud of just over £170,000.

Nicola Frost-Wilson, internal audit manager at DMBC, said: “Prosecutions have been lower in reporting period, primarily due to the effects of the Covid19 pandemic.

“Reduced activity in town centre locations is directly leading to lower levels of contraventions, and therefore, lower levels of enforcement activity.

“Prosecutions have also been affected with back logs in the courts leading to the cancellation of some prosecutions.

“The savings represent the removal of an individual from the blue badge registers which was usually as a result of the death of the badge holder.

“The notional savings represent prevented losses by the removal of these badges as they then cannot be used for fraudulent purposes.”