Blue Badge misuse offences lead to more prosecutions

Published Friday, 9 October 2020

Seven drivers and two vehicle owners have been prosecuted and ordered to pay fines totalling £3,179 for Blue Badge misuse related offences.

All seven drivers were guilty of taking advantage of Blue Badge scheme parking concessions that they were not entitled to. The offences included displaying counterfeit, cancelled and copied badges and using Blue Badges when the holders were not present.

Two vehicle owners were prosecuted under section 17 of the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1972 for failing to provide information relating to the identification of a driver after a suspected Blue Badge misuse incident occurred; one involved a stolen badge and the other involved a child’s badge.

Councillor Kate Lymer, Bromley’s Executive Councillor for Public Protection and Enforcement said: “I realise that we are living in very difficult times, but I am dismayed that after so many convictions, Blue Badge abuse of this nature is continuing in the borough. There really is no excuse for displaying a counterfeit, cancelled or copied badge. These deliberate actions are taken with the intention of avoiding payment of a small parking fee or for the driver’s own convenience which is unacceptable.”

Councillor Lymer added: “Blue Badge misuse of any kind is hugely detrimental to the lives of disabled individuals. For this reason, we will continue to take steps to stamp it out locally and ensure spaces are available for those who genuinely need to park close to their destination. Any driver who has got into the bad habit of misusing a Blue Badge should be warned that our officers are checking badges daily and where we are satisfied that misuse has taken place, we will not hesitate to prosecute. To be clear, a Blue Badge cannot be used in the holder’s absence or to run an errand on their behalf.”

To date, more than 50 motorists have been prosecuted for Blue Badge misuse related offences in Bromley since the beginning of the year.

Four drivers who were guilty of displaying a Blue Badge in the absence of the holder were; Mr Lee Funnell of Reed Pond Walk, Romford, Mrs Melva McIntosh of Heather Way, South Croydon, Mr James Oladipo of Bromley Road, Catford and a driver from Orpington who could not be named to protect the identity of a child.

Miss Laura Forsythe of Arbrook Close, Orpington, displayed a copied badge, Miss Nicolle Morgan of Anerley Road, Penge, displayed a counterfeit badge and Mr Richard Twinn of Maclean Road, Forest Hill, displayed a badge that had been cancelled as lost.

Ms Nicole Powell of Ruskin Walk Croydon, was guilty of failing to provide information relating to the identification of the person driving her vehicle when a suspected misuse incident occurred involving the display of a stolen Blue Badge. Another vehicle owner, who could not be named to protect the identity of a child, was also guilty of this offence.

Only three of the Blue Badges associated with these offences were issued by Bromley while the rest were issued by other local authorities. Three of the cases involved Bromley residents.

Full details about the Blue Badge scheme rules and avoiding misuse are available at: www.bromley.gov.uk/parking

Blue Badge misuse is a criminal offence which can lead to a £1,000 fine and confiscation of the badge.  Anyone who suspects that a blue badge is being used for the benefit of a person who is not the badge holder can report their concerns at: www.bromley.gov.uk/reportbluebadge

ENDS

Editor's notes

1. Miss Laura Forsythe of Arbrook Close, Orpington, was found guilty in her absence at a hearing at Bexley Magistrates Court on 10/09/20. She was fined £150 and ordered to pay costs of £100 and a surcharge of £34 – total £284.

2. Mr Lee Funnell of Reed Pond Walk, Romford, was found guilty in his absence at a hearing at Bexley Magistrates Court on 10/09/20. He was fined £294 and ordered to pay costs of £150 and a surcharge of £34 – total £478.

3. Mrs Melva McIntosh of Heather Way, South Croydon, was found guilty in her absence at a hearing at Bexley Magistrates Court on 10/09/20. She was fined £220 and ordered to pay costs of £100 and a surcharge of £34 – total £354.

4. Miss Nicolle Morgan of Anerley Road, Penge, pleaded guilty by post ahead of her hearing at Bexley Magistrates Court on 10/09/20. She was fined £277 and ordered to pay costs of £150 and a surcharge of £34 - total £461.

5. Mr James Oladipo of Bromley Road, Catford, was found guilty in his absence at a hearing at Bexley Magistrates Court on 10/09/20. He was fined £80 and ordered to pay costs of £150 and a surcharge of £34 – total £264.

6. Mr Richard Twinn of Maclean Road, Forest Hill, was found guilty in his absence at a hearing at Bexley Magistrates Court on 17/09/20. He was fined £220 and ordered to pay costs of £350 and a surcharge of £32 – total £602.

7. Ms Nicole Powell of Ruskin Walk, Croydon, was found guilty in her absence at a hearing at Bexley Magistrates Court on 21/09/20. She was fined £220 and ordered to pay costs of £50 and a surcharge of £32 – total £302.

8. An unnamed vehicle owner from Brockley pleaded guilty by post ahead of his hearing at Bexley Magistrates Court on 21/09/20. He was fined £50 and ordered to pay costs of £50 and a surcharge of £32 - total £132.

9. An unnamed motorist from Orpington was found guilty in his absence at a hearing at Bexley Magistrates Court on 05/10/20. He was fined £120 and ordered to pay costs of £150 and surcharge of £32 – total £302.

For media enquiries, please contact Andrew Rogers, Communications Advisor, on 020 8461 7670 or emailandrew.rogers@bromley.gov.uk