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Islington Council cracks down on Blue Badge fraud as four drivers are taken to court

Islington has brought four criminal prosecutions against Blue Badge fraudsters – including one driver caught parking metres from the Emirates Stadium on an Arsenal match day – as part of a new crackdown on misusing the parking permits.

 

Magistrates handed down fines of more than £2,200 to four drivers found to have been using stolen Blue Badges to park on Islington’s streets – with court costs adding a further £1,800 to their bill.

 

These successful prosecutions mark the start of a tougher approach to people who abuse Blue Badges – which help people with disabilities manage their lives more easily, with greater freedom and flexibility to park in the borough.

 

Blue Badge fraud is a criminal offence and the cases were prosecuted under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, carrying  a maximum fine of £1,000.

 

Cllr Claudia Webbe, executive member for environment and transport, said: “Blue Badge cheats have been getting away with abusing the system for too long. These badges represent a vital lifeline for many of our borough’s most vulnerable residents, helping them maintain independence and a be an active part of the community.

 

“We are taking a much harder line on selfish criminals who knowingly obtain stolen Blue Badges for their own convenience, while depriving the freedom of someone in much greater need.

 

“Blue Badge fraud is happening every day, frustrating law-abiding drivers and genuine permit holders. There are more prosecutions on the way already – and with your help we can bring even more criminals to justice.”

 

Last month at Highbury Magistrates’ Court, one driver was convicted in his absence of using a stolen badge to park in Martineau Road, opposite the Emirates Stadium, on an Arsenal match day. The badge had been reported stolen in Islington more than a year earlier. He was fined £600 plus costs of £406 and a victim surcharge of £60.

 

The owner of a Mercedes also admitted using a stolen badge, that had been cancelled by Hackney Council 18 months earlier, to park in Alwyne Road, Canonbury. She was fined £600 with costs of £400 and a victim surcharge of £60.

 

A BMW driver parking in Havelock Street, Barnsbury, was caught using a Blue Badge stolen in Kent three months before. Magistrates fined him £800 on top of a victim surcharge of £80 and costs of £400 after he pleaded guilty.

 

A fourth driver caught using a badge that had been stolen nine months earlier admitted the offence and was fined £216 with costs of £356 and a victim surcharge of £30. His car was also auctioned as he didn’t claim it from the pound in time.

 

For more information on the Blue Badge scheme in Islington, click here.

 

To report suspected Blue Badge fraud, call us on 020 7527 2000 or email parkingfraud@islington.gov.uk