Six people prosecuted amid more than 100 reports of disabled blue badges being misused
- Credit: Archant
Six people have been prosecuted for misuse of blue badges meant for disabled people in Norfolk, while dozens more drivers have been sent warning letters.
Norfolk County Council revealed it has carried out more than 100 investigations into reports of blue badge misuse in 2019/20.
Six of those investigations led to prosecutions, while another is pending.
Among those taken to court was a drive who used an expired blue badge, which was not theirs, to park in a controlled zone in Bedford Street in Norwich in February.
They were convicted at Norwich Magistrates Court last month and ordered to pay just over £875 in fine and costs.
Another driver used a blue badge which did not belong to them to park in a disabled person’s parking space in Church Street, Hoveton in November last year.
They were convicted at Norwich Magistrates Court, where they were fined £250, ordered to pay costs of £483 and a victim surcharge of £32.
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Another driver used a badge they were not entitled to park in Aylsham’s Market Place on Christmas Eve last year. That ended up with them being taken to court and convicted. They were fined £500, ordered to pay £470 costs and a £50 victim surcharge.
In cases where not enough evidence to take people to court is available or the deliberate mis-use of a badge is contentious, formal warning letters are issued to badge holders.
That happened 42 times in the past year, up on the 19 over the previous 12 months, described as a “significant increase” by the council.
In total there were 112 investigations in 2019/20, which was an increase on the 93 in 2018/19.
A spokeswoman for Norfolk County Council said: “The council has employed a blue badge investigator for four and a half years and is one of only a few in the country to do so.
“The work of the investigator continues to be well received by both blue badge users and representative organisations, such as Disabled Motoring UK.
“Fraudulent and the misuse of blue badges is something that affects the lives of many legitimate blue badge users as it can deny them the use of a parking space close to their destination.”