Six fined as Sheffield Council continues crackdown on blue badge fraud

Six people have been convicted of blue badge fraud in Sheffield.
Six people have been convicted of blue badge fraud in Sheffield.
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Sheffield Council has warned people who fraudulently use blue parking badges that they will be taken to court.

Six people were ordered to pay more than £2,000 between them by magistrates when they appeared in court on July 11, in the second group prosecution brought by the authority.

This week the council said it hoped to bring more cases in the coming months as officers crack down on people who use the badges unlawfully.

Cabinet member for transport and infrastructure Jack Scott said: "This isn't a minor offence.

"Abusing another person’s blue badge to park for free simply will not be tolerated in Sheffield.

"I hope these convictions send a clear message that we will not put up with this at all."

Blue badges are issued to elderly or disabled people. They can also be used to park for free by parents if they are with a disabled child at the time.

Anyone caught using a badge fraudulently can face a criminal conviction and a fine of up to £1,000, plus any costs awarded by the court.

Blue badges which are found to be used fraudulently – even if they have been issued for genuine reasons – can be confiscated as a result of any successful prosecution.

Coun Scott added: “My message to people who have fallen into the habit of taking a relative’s blue badge is clear - if you take advantage of this scheme, my team will take you to court.

"A criminal prosecution, heavy fine and a criminal record will all follow. We won't turn a blind eye or issue warnings. We will pursue these criminals with the full force of the law.

“Places are reserved for genuine blue badge users because they are close to major amenities or close to schools or hospitals. Fraudulent use stops those people from accessing the facilities they need.

"It is selfish and unfair to genuinely disabled people. What’s more, a blue badge will be removed upon successful prosecution.

“Nobody can use a blue badge unless they are travelling with the owner. We won’t hesitate to confiscate blue badge passes where they are misused.”

More than 24,000 blue badges are in circulation in Sheffield. The majority belong to individuals.

Those convicted at Sheffield Magistrates' Court on July 11 were:

- Alison Sharp, 32, of Binstead Grove, Wadsley Bridge, pleaded guilty by post to fraudulent use of a blue badge on November 11, 2016, in School Road in Crookes. Fined £200, costs £200, surcharge £30.

- Sarah Haynes, 33, of Overend Road, Gleadless Valley, pleaded guilty by post to fraudulent use of a blue badge on March 27, 2017, in Pinstone Street, city centre. Fined £180, costs £200, surcharge £30.

- Paul Gardner, 28, of Sky Edge Avenue, Manor, pleaded guilty by post to fraudulent use of a blue badge on November 8, 2016, in Allen Street, city centre. Fined £135, costs £410, surcharge £30.

- Dennis Renshaw, aged 66, of Harney Close, Darnall, pleaded guilty by post to fraudulent use of a blue badge on December 2, 2016 in Dixon lane, city centre. Fined £80, costs £200, surcharge £30.

- Adam Stride, aged 31, of Whinacre Close, Batemoor, pleaded guilty by post to fraudulent use of a blue badge on November 6, 2016 in Union Street, city centre. Fined £120, costs £410, surcharge £30.

- Tracey Scott, aged 53, of Rose Avenue, Houghton Le Spring, near Sunderland, found guilty in her absence of fraudulent use of a blue badge on December 10, 2016 in Leadmill Road, city centre. Fined £80, costs £100, surcharge £30.