Parking Enforcement Officers from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council spotted the offender was using and had altered a deceased person’s parking Blue Badge, in order to park his vehicle without paying. This led to a detailed investigation involving Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire County Council, to bring the case to court for prosecution.
It is a criminal offence for a person to: use a badge that does not belong to them; to alter a badge; to create a copy of a badge; to use an expired badge; and to commit any form of fraud relating to the use of a Blue Badge, or acquiring a Blue Badge. People who misuse Blue Badges to access disabled parking areas can face fines of up to £5,000 and a criminal record.
Hampshire County Council, as the Blue Badge issuing authority, is responsible for Blue Badge enforcement in Hampshire. Together with the district and unitary councils who are responsible for their local parking enforcement, the local authorities work together to identify potential or proven misuse and respond to allegations of misuse. Where cases require further investigation, Hampshire County Council works with Portsmouth City Council to carry out detailed checks. These investigations, as in this case, can lead to prosecution should they be deemed serious enough.