Suffolk's first blue badge prosecution for Haverhill woman
- Credit: Alamy
A Haverhill woman has become the first in the county to be prosecuted for blue badge misuse.
Suzan Jeffery, of Haverhill, pleaded guilty to wrongfully using a disabled badge that did not belong to her at Ipswich Magistrates on May 27.
This was following an investigation from Suffolk County Council’s Counter Fraud Service.
According to a county council report, Ms Jeffery had been using her deceased father’s blue badge. On inspection of the badge, she had lied to a parking officer, stating that her father was in a nearby coffee shop.
Ms Jeffery was fined £100 and ordered to pay investigatory and legal costs of £414, and a surcharge of £34.
A blue badge allows a disabled person to park closer to their destination, either as a driver or as a passenger.
Using a blue badge that has not been issued to you is an offence contrary to Section 117 of the Road Traffic Act.
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Suffolk County Council’s website states: “Do not let someone else use your badge to get free or better parking. The Blue Badge is issued to you and cannot be shared by a spouse, family member or anyone else.”
Suffolk County Council’s sanctions include the confiscation or permanent removal of the badge, and a fine of up to £1,000.
A Suffolk County Council spokesperson said: "We take Blue Badge misuse very seriously, and our Counter Fraud Service and Blue Badge Team work closely with the district and borough councils' parking enforcement teams to protect badge holders from those who abuse the scheme.
"Using a Blue Badge that doesn't belong to you is against the law, but more importantly, it denies a parking space to one of the 43,000 Blue Badge Holders in Suffolk who need to be able to park close to the services they use.
"We will continue to investigate reports of misuse. Anyone that uses stolen, lost or fake badges can face prosecution, along with those who use a badge without the holder being part of the journey."