Herefordshire Council has been working to proactively combat the display of illegitimate disabled badges.
The parking team, blue badge team and trading standards & community protection officers worked together to seize 75 badges in 2014/15. Fifty of these have been seized since 1st Jan 2015. The 71 broken down these are as follows:
1 – Fake badge seized from a driver displayed on a vehicle
8 – Badges seized from drivers where the badge holder is deceased
16 – Expired badges seized from drivers which continued to be used
43 – Badges seized from drivers where the badge holder is not present with the vehicle
7 – Expired badges where surrendered to enforcement officers
James Hughes, principal parking services officer said, “We will take a robust approach to protect the measures we use to assist people with mobility issues from being abused. There is not only a financial impact on the council when someone obtains free parking by displaying an illegitimate badge, there is also an impact on genuine disabled badge holders when the spaces provided are taken by people that do not need them. For this reason we consider this type of behaviour socially unacceptable.
We have a range of sanctions available to us to combat this problem where drivers are caught, including withdrawal of the disabled badge and criminal charges against the driver caught using the badge.
So far, a formal caution has been issued, and other cases are now being considered for a formal prosecution in a criminal court.”
When someone uses a disabled badge in any other circumstance other than when the badge holder is accompanying them for that journey they are committing a criminal offence, and they can face a £1000 fine and a criminal record.