York’s Blue Badge holders supported with a National Day of Action

To uphold their rights and access to disabled parking, Blue Badge holders in York were supported by a crack-down on badge misuse and fraud on Friday 24 May as part of the National Blue Badge Day of Action.

This day aims to ensure that Blue Badge holders across the UK can get the parking to which they are entitled, and can access the amenities they want.

To do that, parking enforcement officers and fraud investigators at City of York Council worked together to ensure that only legitimate Blue Badges were being used correctly. This means it must be displayed in a parked vehicle used by the badge owner, or by a driver parking to pick up or drop off the badge owner.

On 24 May in York, Veritau – the organisation that investigates fraud on behalf of the council – teamed up with council officers to check that any Blue Badges displayed were valid and were being used correctly. Badges are identified by the council’s enforcement officers, with Veritau’s fraud officers contacting the badge owner, to ensure that it’s use is appropriate.

Over the course of the day, 73 Blue badges were checked with one ticket issued for a parking contravention.

Max Thomas, Chief Executive at Veritau, said: “We take all forms of fraud very seriously. We are committed to ensuring disabled people’s continued access to services, employment and activities which this annual day of action supports.”

Helen Whiting, Chief Officer – HR and Support Services – at City of York Council, said: “Over 7,200 York residents have Blue Badges and we know the misuse of these badges is a concern. Because not all disabilities are visible, please report any suspected misuse to Veritau rather than challenge an individual directly.”

Over 100 councils across the country took part in the day of action to help tackle Blue Badge misuse and ensure that disabled people are not defrauded of their accessible parking places. This was in addition to routine checks and enforcement carried out in York.

Misusing a Blue Badge is a criminal offence, with offenders facing possible prosecution, and a fine of up to £1,000.

Anyone with information about Blue Badges being used fraudulently or about fraudulent activity against the council, should call Veritau’s hotline on 0800 9179 247 or email fraud@york.gov.uk. The call can be anonymous, and all concerns are treated seriously.