High fine for Wycombe blue badge fraudster
Used it to park in The Butts
A resident of High Wycombe who fraudulently used a disabled person’s blue badge to park in Hounslow has been ordered to pay a total of £1,670 by Feltham Magistrates Court.
In September 2014, Hounslow Council’s fraud team received a call advising that a car parked in The Butts, Brentford, was displaying a Blue Badge issued by Lincolnshire County Council. The vehicle was parked in a bay that had been suspended.
Hounslow’s parking team contacted Lincolnshire County Council who revealed that the Blue Badge had been issued to a resident who died almost two years ago.
Police checks confirmed that the vehicle was registered to Paula Smith of High Wycombe. Her vehicle was found in the reported spot displaying the blue badge.
The vehicle was towed away by the council and the fraud team interviewed Paula Smith under caution.
Ms Smith received the blue badge from a friend. Knowing he had a blue badge, Ms Smith asked if she could use it as she was going away for a few days and was aware that there are parking restrictions in place at The Butts.
In court, Paula Smith, who pleaded guilty to the misuse of a blue badge by post, was fined £350 and ordered to pay costs of £1,200 along with a victim surcharge of £120.
Councillor Richard Foote, cabinet member for community protection, said: “Misuse of the blue badge scheme is despicable behaviour. This scheme exists to help those who have difficulty walking and should not be abused by those who are fortunate enough to get out and about without needing a blue badge.
“We will not hesitate to take action against those who think they can get away with this type of fraud. The size of this fine shows that the courts take this issue as seriously as we do.
“While we regularly check for blue badge fraud, we become aware of this misuse thanks to information from a member of the public. I encourage anyone who suspects someone is using a blue badge when they are not entitled to do so to get in touch with the council’s fraud team with information.”
To speak to the council’s fraud team call 020 8583 2111.
As well as misuse of the blue badge scheme, the team also investigate fraud and corruption against the council, whether committed by members of the public, staff, partners or contractors, including:
June 19, 2015