Lambeth Council has sent a warning to people who abuse blue badges following a string of court convictions.
Blue badges are reserved for elderly and disabled motorists to make parking easier, but the system is regularly abused, denying people the parking spaces they are entitled to.
In a recent round of prosecutions at Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court, seven people faced fines and will now have a criminal record after being found guilty of using blue badges that did not belong to them.
In one case, builder John Edward Molloy of Deburgh Road, Wimbledon, was found to be using a blue badge of a friend who had suffered a stroke to carry out tiling work at properties in Brixton in order to save money on car parking charges.
He was fined £300.00 (including victim surcharge) in his absence and was ordered to pay council costs of £284.00, a total of £584.00.
In another case, Pietro Amati of Red Post Hill, Dulwich, was found to using his elderly father’s blue badge that had expired two months earlier. He was initially issued parking tickets, and he sent letters of appeal with photocopies of the blue badge apparently showing a seemingly valid blue badge, which was discovered by investigators to have been altered. He pleaded guilty to two charges of making false representations against the tickets, contrary to the Fraud Act 2006.
He was fined £580.00 (including £15.00 victim surcharge) and ordered to pay costs of £670.00, a total of £1,250.00.
Cllr Lorna Campbell, Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability, said: “These prosecutions send a clear message that we will continue to work to protect the rights of older and disabled people by clamping down on people who try to cheat the system. Our parking fraud team does an absolutely crucial job in ensuring older and disabled people have access to the parking spaces that are reserved for them.”
The council’s parking fraud investigation team works closely with the borough’s parking wardens to monitor blue badges being used on the streets and checking them against databases to ensure they are being used by the people they belong to.
They also carry out operations with the police to identify offenders.
The cases were heard on January 3rd.