Home   Medway   News   Article

Medway Council to crackdown on misuse of blue badges

By Dean Kilpatrick, local democracy reporter

Medway Council is to launch a crackdown on blue badge misuse after admitting it has brought about zero convictions against motorists caught abusing the system.

Although the authority’s parking enforcement team already carries out “proactive days” to tackle the issue, red-handed motorists are only given a warning letter threatening prosecution if they are caught again.

Misuse includes parking in a disabled space without the blue badge holder being in the vehicle.

Medway Council has admitted there have been no convictions of people misusing blue badges. Picture: Wikimedia Commons
Medway Council has admitted there have been no convictions of people misusing blue badges. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

Head of audit and counter fraud James Larkin explained: “It is an offence under the Highways Act which they can be prosecuted for.

“The costs associated with that are obviously quite high, so there has to be a question of whether it is in the public interest to spend that public money to deal with it.”

It was recently revealed there were 1,215 prosecutions for blue badge misuse in England during 2017-18, although 62% of local authorities had not brought about any prosecutions in that time.

Although counter-fraud officers will join the parking enforcement team on occasions as part of the crackdown in Medway, Mr Larkin insists the drive will still be focused on “educating”.

He added: “A fraud officer speaking to them (motorists abusing blue badges) might focus the mind a little bit more as they tend not to take much notice of enforcement officers.

“We will also be looking to have someone set up to access the blue badge records, so we will live check the vehicles parked and make phone calls to the blue badge holders asking where they are.

“If they are at home, and the blue badge is in their son’s car and he is at work – for example – a penalty charge notice will be issued and he’ll be getting a warning.

“It’s about education at the moment, rather than enforcement.

"That’s not to say they won’t be prosecuted, but to date there have not been any.”

Join the debate...
Comments |

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments. Please click here for our house rules.

People who post abusive comments about other users or those featured in articles will be banned.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.

 

Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01634 227989.

Follow us

Like Us on Facebook

Most popular

Kent Travel News

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More