Published Tuesday, 13th February 2018
City of York Council has today (13 February 2018) prosecuted a second individual for blue badge misuse who was directly identified from a council campaign.
Council civil enforcement officers and Veritau – the company that investigates fraud on behalf of the council – offered a two-week amnesty in July for the return of expired badges without question or fear of legal action being taken.
Once the amnesty passed, proactive ‘enforcement patrols’ were carried out across York in August and November. Enforcement officers and investigators checked badges on display to confirm that they were still valid, that the badge holder was present and using the badge. Where misuse was found, penalty charges were issued as well as criminal investigations instigated.
During the course of Veritau’s investigation Mr Balsham was interviewed under caution. He admitted that his mother, the badge holder, had not been with him and that he knew he could only park on double yellow lines if the badge holder was with him. Mr Balsham stated he parked on Blake Street because he was visiting a nearby tea room.
Mr Balsham had also made two appeals to his parking ticket which had implied his mother had been with him when it was given.
The investigation concluded with Mr Balsham pleading guilty to all charges at York Magistrates Court on 13 February 2018. The court gave him a fine of £40 and he ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £30 and court costs of £408.
Cllr Jenny Brooks, executive member for housing and safer neighbourhoods at City of York Council, said: “This is yet another example of misuse of blue badges taking place in York city centre. Blue badges are for those with mobility issues and not for their family and friends to use for themselves. By misusing a blue badge, it directly impacts the capacity of parking for genuine badge holders.
“City of York Council will not hesitate to take action against those found to be abusing the blue badge system. We encourage anyone with any information on fraudulent activity to phone the Veritau fraud hotline on 0800 9179 247 or email email@example.com.”
A blue badge should be handed back to the council if:
· It has expired
· The badge holder is no longer eligible to use one
· It is a replacement for a badge lost or stolen and the original has since been found
· The badge is so damaged or faded that the details are not clear
· The badge holder has died.