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Crackdown planned on fraudsters using dead people's blue bladges

By George Makin | Dudley | Crime | Published:

Fraudsters are using blue badges that belong to dead people to avoid parking charges, council chiefs have said

Council bosses in Dudley are to launch a crackdown against an estimated 3,000 motorists who falsely use the badges to avoid paying for parking.

Transport chiefs are asking councillors to back a public awareness scheme to highlight the misuse of the permits which are designed to help disabled drivers find parking spaces.

The most common form of fraud includes badges that are no longer valid, have been reported as ‘lost’ and ‘stolen or using the permit without the holder’s permission or when the owner is not in the the vehicle.

Fraudsters also use those issued to people who have died or display fake badges.

A report to health and adult social care scrutiny committee has said the government’s Audit Commission estimates that nationally more than 20 per cent of blue badges are fraudulently used by motorists.

Council officers warn this means as many as 3,320 of the 16,598 special parking permits issued in the borough are at risk of being misused by able-bodied drivers.

Matt Bowsher, director of adult social care for Dudley, has warned this is defrauds the authority of income while denying genuine disable motorists the help they need.

In his report to the committee, he says: “The proposals to tackle fraudulent use of blue badges will provide us with an opportunity to engage with the public to provide information regarding the Blue Badge Scheme and to highlight that the issue of blue badge misuse will not be tolerated within Dudley.

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“Where evidence is conclusive that a badge is being misused, then that badge will be retained and dealt with appropriately by the Blue Badge Team, in line with the Department for Transport guidelines, and parking violation tickets will be issued.”

In total, the blue badge scheme costs the council over £187,000 a year.

Councillors will discuss the recommendation at their meeting on January 22.

George Makin

By George Makin
@GeorgePMakin

Local Democracy Reporter covering Sandwell and Dudley.

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