More Blue Badges misused

Published Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Nine drivers and a vehicle owner have been prosecuted and ordered to pay fines totalling £4,504 for Blue Badge misuse related offences.

All nine drivers were guilty of taking advantage of Blue Badge scheme parking concessions that they were not entitled to. The offences included displaying Blue Badges when the holders were not present, using counterfeit and stolen badges and using a badge after the holder had passed away.

A vehicle owner was 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 involving a stolen badge.  

To qualify for a Blue Badge, there is certain criteria that must be met such as the person must have a permanent and substantial disability that causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking.  The Blue Badge Scheme also attracts certain ‘rules’ of use, such as Blue Badge holders must never allow friends or relatives to use the badge to run an errand on their behalf, for example.

Councillor Kate Lymer, Bromley’s Executive Councillor for Public Protection and Enforcement said: “Anyone who intentionally abuses the Blue Badge scheme either doesn’t realise or doesn’t care about the damaging effect their actions have on those with genuine disabilities.  As these latest prosecutions demonstrate, offenders will be caught and prosecuted without exception.”

Councillor Lymer added: “Even during these unprecedented times, we will continue to uphold the Blue Badge system. So if you’re an able-bodied driver and you’ve got into the habit of displaying a loved one’s Blue Badge for your own benefit, be warned that our enforcement team are checking hundreds of badges every day.  Please think very carefully about what you’re doing because if you continue, you will get caught.”

More than 60 motorists have been prosecuted for Blue Badge misuse related offences in Bromley during the last year.

Five drivers who were guilty of displaying a Blue Badge in the absence of the holder were; Mr Alpen Patel of Beckenham Road, West Wickham, Mr Paul Watson of Aylesford Avenue, Beckenham, Ms Molly Mwape Chanshi-Efemini of Blanchdowne, Herne Hill and two drivers from Orpington and West Wickham who could not be named to protect the identity of a child.

Mr Christopher Simpson of Padua Road, Penge, and a driver from Beckenham who could not be named to protect the identify of a child both displayed badges that had been reported as lost. Mr Ramone Sergeant displayed a counterfeit badge and Ms Kellie Jane Whitlock of Upper Elmers End Road, Beckenham, was found guilty of displaying a badge on three separate occasions after the holder had passed away.

Mr Raymond Chambers of Cobbold Street, Ipswich, was guilty of failing to provide information relating to the identification of the person driving his vehicle when a suspected misuse incident occurred involving the display of a stolen Blue Badge.  

Six of the Blue Badges associated with these offences were issued by Bromley while the rest were issued by other local authorities.  Eight 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. Mr Christopher Simpson of Padua Road, Penge, pleaded guilty by post ahead of his hearing at Bexley Magistrates Court on 12/10/20. He was fined £50 and ordered to pay costs of £150 and a surcharge of £32 – total £232.

2. Mr Ramone Sergeant of Downham Way, Bromley, pleaded guilty by post ahead of his hearing at Bexley Magistrates Court on 16/11//20. He was fined £146 and ordered to pay costs of £100 and a surcharge of £32 – total £278.

3. Mr Alpen Patel of Beckenham Road, West Wickham, pleaded guilty at his hearing on 07/12/20 at Bromley Magistrates Court. He was fined £400 and ordered to pay costs of £458 and a surcharge £40 - total £898.

4. Ms Kellie Jane Whitlock of Upper Elmers End Road, Beckenham, was proved guilty of three offences at a hearing at Bexley Magistrates Court on 14/12/20. She was fined £400 and ordered to pay costs of £350 and a surcharge of £40 – total £790.

5. Mr Raymond Chambers of Cobbold Street, Ipswich, pleaded guilty by post ahead of a hearing at Bexley Magistrates Court on 14/12/20. He was fined £120 and ordered to pay costs of £150 and a surcharge of £34 – total £304.

6. Mr Paul Watson of Aylesford Avenue, Beckenham, was proved guilty at a hearing at Bexley Magistrates Court on 11/01/21. He was fined £220 and ordered to pay costs of £150 and a surcharge £34 - total £404.

7. Ms Molly Mwape Chanshi-Efemini of Blanchdowne, Herne Hill, was proved guilty at a hearing at Bexley Magistrates Court on 11/01/21. She was fined £220 and ordered to pay costs of £200 and a surcharge of £34 – total £454.

8. An unnamed motorist from Orpington, pleaded guilty at a hearing at Bromley Magistrates Court on 07/12/20. She was fined £80 and ordered to pay a surcharge of £32 - total £112.

9. An unnamed motorist from West Wickham, pleaded guilty at a hearing at Bromley Magistrates Court on 07/12/20. She was fined £80 and ordered to pay costs of £350 and surcharge of £32 – total £462.

10. An unnamed motorist from Beckenham, pleaded guilty at her hearing at Bromley Magistrates Court on 07/12/20. She was fined £80 and ordered to pay costs of £458 and a surcharge of £32 - total £570.

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