However, only two-thirds of councils have the power to deal with this kind of fraud
Prosecutions for Blue Badge fraud increased by almost a fifth in 2018 in England – a rise of 17.9% compared to the previous year. However, only two-thirds (66%) of councils have the power to deal with this kind of fraud.
Councils in England conducted 1,432 prosecutions overall for fraudulent use of a Blue Badge between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019, which equates to a 17.9% increase compared to the same period in 2017/18.
These figures follow an annual Government survey of all councils in England, with the number of councils with a policy in place to tackle such fraud rising from 89 to 101 over the same period, yet this only represents 66% of English councils.
Of those who have no policy in place to deal with Blue Badge misuse, 65% claim to have one in the planning.
From the 1,432 prosecutions last year, 99% were made against non-badge holders who were accused of using another person’s badge. At the same time, 983 (69%) of the total were made in the Capital, which is where the five English councils with the lowest fraction of Blue Badge holders by population are located – City of London, Lambeth, Kensington & Chelsea, Tower Hamlets and Westminster.
At the opposite end of the scale, the highest proportion of Blue Badge holders by population of any English council is in Sunderland, followed by North Lincolnshire, St Helens, Stockton-on-Tees and Staffordshire.
“The one-fifth increase in fraudulent Blue Badge prosecutions from last year shows that more areas are finally starting to tackle the issue,” said president of the AA, Edmund King, adding: “However, it’s shocking that only two-thirds of councils have a policy to prosecute those who abuse the system by using another person’s badge.”
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