A woman in York has pleaded guilty to misusing a relative’s disabled badge to illegally park in York city centre.
Lisa Parker (aged 32 of Campleshon Road, York) was found to have used the Blue Badge to park on Castlegate on 14 June 2019. The case was referred to Veritau, the council’s fraud investigation team, after a member of the parking team spotted the van parked on double yellow lines and displaying the badge.
Blue Badges make it easier for people to travel and maintain independence, however can be open to abuse. Blue Badges allow people to park in certain locations including double yellow lines and disabled spaces, however these benefits are only intended for the badge holder, or someone who is transporting them.
The badge holder must be either in the vehicle when it is parked, or in the vehicle when it leaves the location it was parked in. If a person drops the badge holder off and then goes to park elsewhere, the badge cannot be used, as the badge holder is no longer with them.
If someone is picking up a badge holder, then they can only use the badge to park in the place where they are picking them up. A Blue Badge cannot be used without the badge holder, even if errands are being run for them.
On 14 June 2019, a City of York Council parking officer saw a Blue Badge displayed in the window of a van parked on Castlegate. After identifying the badge number, investigators found that the same badge was subject to an investigation in 2017, with the same vehicle parked in the same place. The vehicle belonged to Ms Parker, who used the same relative’s Blue Badge to park there without the badge holder, for which she had already received a warning from the council.
Ms Parker was invited to an interview under caution on 13 August 2019 but refused to attend. The previous misuse of the badge in 2017 was a factor in City of York Council deciding to seek prosecution in this case.
Ms Parker pleaded guilty by post and was sentenced in York Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 17 December 2019. She received a fine and was ordered to pay court costs and victim surcharge, totalling £499.
Councillor Denise Craghill, Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods, said: “This case shows that the council takes Blue Badge misuse seriously and is committed to taking action to prevent misuse of the Blue Bade system, which supports drivers and passengers with disabilities.
“In this instance, the resident had parked their car illegally on double yellow lines in the city centre and displayed a badge to avoid paying a fine, despite previously receiving a warning for the same thing. This could have prevented someone with disabilities and a genuine need for the Blue Badge parking from using it.”
Any members of the public with information on fraudulent activity are encouraged to phone the anonymous fraud hotline on 0800 9179 247, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.