Why Is Blue Badge Fraud On The Rise?

Mon 17th Jun 2019

The theft of disabled parking badges is on the rise according to recently published figures, with the incidence of blue badges being stolen rising by close to 50 per cent in 2018.

According to figures released from the Local Government Association (LGA), there were 4,246 thefts of blue badges in 2018, a significantly higher number than the 2,921 a year earlier. Fraudsters keen to use those stolen badges have led to a spike over the last five years, only 535 were prosecuted in 2014.

The maximum fine for stealing a parking badge is £1,000, though misuse by holders and allowing others to use a blue badge can also see the blue badge withdrawn.

The blue badges are allocated to those with a disability and those with hidden disabilities, and allows holders to park for free in pay and display areas, on double yellow lines for three hours, and drivers in London don’t have to pay the congestion charge.

Martin Tett, a spokesman for LGA Transport, said: “Illegally using a Blue Badge is not a victimless crime. For disabled people, Blue Badges are a vital lifeline that helps them get out and about to visit shops or family and friends.

“Callous thieves and unscrupulous fraudsters using them illegally are robbing disabled people of this independence.

“Blue Badge theft is clearly a soaring crime and it is alarming that incidents have risen by more than 45 per cent in the past year alone.

“It is important to catch these criminals in the act. To help councils win the fight against Blue Badge fraud, residents must keep tipping us off about people they suspect are illegally using a badge, bearing in mind people’s need for a badge might not be obvious.”