Kirklees fraudsters caught using dead people's disabled blue badges
Drivers fraudulently using blue badge parking permits can expect to be prosecuted if they are caught in Kirklees.
Two people were prosecuted last year after they were caught using DEAD people’s blue badges to park in the borough for free.
Motorists from Kirklees were collectively fined £4,200 and ordered to pay costs of £4,920 in 2018/19 for misusing blue badges.
Kirklees Council’s crackdown on enforcement led to it prosecuting 40 motorists and issuing 46 written warnings.
Of the badges coming under scrutiny, 18 were from OUTSIDE the Kirklees area.
The authority confirmed that two instances related to misuse of a dead person’s badge.
The figures were revealed following a Freedom of Information request submitted by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
Blue badges allow drivers – classified as “Disabled Badge Holders” – to park for free in pay and display bays and for up to three hours on yellow lines except where restrictions apply.
Misuse can cost local authorities hundreds of thousands of pounds in lost parking revenue.
Offenders can face a fine of up to £1,000.
A Kirklees Council spokesperson said the authority was “much more geared up” to prosecute multiple blue badge misusers using the Single Justice Procedure than in previous years.
And they confirmed that the use of a deceased person’s badge “would now become subject of a full investigation”.
The spokesperson added: “If there is enough evidence and if it is in the public interest to do so, we would look to lay the individual case before the magistrates, probably citing an offence under the Fraud Act 2006.”
Kirklees has stepped up its prosecutions. In 2017/18 it prosecuted 17 drivers and handed out just four written warnings.
However one person was given a 26-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months.
Fines totalled £2,251 with collective costs at £5,256.71. Four of the badges were found to be from outside Kirklees.
Fines issued by the courts across both years varied from £40 to £666, with costs ranging from £100 to £518.14.