8 December 2015

Blue badge blitz continues

Five drivers have been fined after being caught fraudulently using disabled blue badges.

The cases were brought before Eastbourne Magistrates on Friday (December 4) by Brighton & Hove City Council as part of a continuing crackdown on the misuse of disabled blue badges (see notes to editors.)

Shannon Casey, of Golf Course Lane, Leicester, pleaded guilty to blue badge abuse and was ordered to pay a fine and costs totalling £1,315, after being found displaying an out of date blue badge, which had been cancelled two years previously after being reported stolen.

Barry Cook, of Imperial Court, Nantwich, Cheshire, attended court and pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay a fine and costs totalling £645. Len Batten, prosecuting on behalf of the city council, said the blue badge was being misused – it was out of date, and the expiry date had been tampered with to show June 2018 instead of June 2015. The case came to light after an eagle eyed Civil Enforcement Officer noticed the unauthorised amendment.

Lee Doe of Downsview Avenue, Brighton, did not attend court and the case was proved in his absence and he was ordered to pay a total of £1,315 in fine and costs. Magistrates were told that his vehicle was seen on 13 occasions displaying a blue badge issued to someone who had since died.

Kelly Griffiths of The Broadway, Brighton, pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay a total of £660, after being found using a disabled badge while the badge holder was not present. The badge was also out of date.

Paul Stuart, of The Drive, Hove, did not attend court, the case was proved in his absence and he was ordered to pay a fine and costs totalling £1,700. Magistrates were told he was found using a cancelled blue badge that had been issued to someone who had died in 2013.

Cllr Gill Mitchell, chair of Brighton & Hove City Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee said: “These prosecutions send out a clear message that blue badge misuse is being addressed in the city.

“The blue badge scheme is intended to make sure parking spaces are available for people who genuinely need them.

We will continue to work with Sussex Police and East Sussex County Council to crackdown on misuse of blue badges and ensure that people with disabilities can get to and enjoy everything Brighton & Hove has to offer.”


Notes to editors:

Last year Brighton & Hove City Council won £183,000 of government funding to help the city crack down on misuse of blue badges and free up spaces for disabled people.
Working with Sussex Police and East Sussex County Council, the funding is being used to help track down people who are misusing the badges, which are issued to disabled people so that they can park more easily, to raise awareness on how blue badges should be used and the consequences of blue badge fraud. Both councils provided additional funding of £30,000.
There are around 13,000 blue badges in Brighton & Hove and a further 24,000 in East Sussex. The Audit Commission estimates that 20% of blue badges are misused.
Funding provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government has funded two blue badge fraud investigation officers operating across East Sussex and Brighton & Hove to improve detection and share intelligence.
In recent years Brighton & Hove has worked successfully with Sussex Police and NSL on 'Operation Bluebird,' an initiative to target stolen blue badges and highlight fraud. The funding allowed the work to continue and be extended.”