30/07/2014 - Permalink

Blue Badge investigation identifies misuse

Related topics: Community

Shropshire Council’s public protection service is reminding all people who use or have access to blue badge parking permits about the need to adhere to the rules and guidelines to ensure they are used correctly, following a recent investigation undertaken by the service.

This advice follows a successful prosecution on Friday 25 July 2014 of a case brought under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 against a person from Wellington.

Chelsea Smith, 38, pleaded guilty to displaying a blue badge in a vehicle she had parked in Shrewsbury in an on-street parking bay when she was not the assigned badge holder and without the badge holder being present.  Chelsea Smith was issued with a fine and costs totalling £780.

The investigation undertaken by public protection identified a number of instances where the blue badge was being used illegally by Chelsea Smith which clearly demonstrated this was not a one-off instance.

Grant Tunnadine, investigations team manager for public protection, said:

“During the investigation it became clear that Chelsea Smith had on a number of occasions abused the use of the Blue Badge parking permit.  The council is committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities who are entitled to use the parking concessions.  Abuse and misuse of the people with disabilities badge is a criminal offence, and the service takes its responsibility for identifying and taking appropriate action against offenders very seriously.”

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for public protection, added:

“Since its introduction in 1971, the Disabled Persons Parking Scheme has made a valuable contribution to the mobility of many people with disabilities.  The council’s provision of on-street parking concessions for blue badge holders is intended to assist independent mobility by allowing people with disabilities to park closer to their destination.  Without legal action being taken against offenders, not only will a scheme that was designed to help disadvantaged members of society fall into disarray, but members of the public who abide by parking restrictions will become disillusioned with imposed parking controls that are abused.”

Shropshire Council encourages individuals to contact its public protection service on 0345 678 9000 if they have any suspicions that offences may be being committed.  Information can be given anonymously, and will always be treated in line with the council’s information governance policies.

Further advice on parking controls and the use of badges for people with disabilities can be found on our website at http://shropshire.gov.uk/parking/.