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Carshalton woman fined for blue badge misuse

Officers, enforcement, blue badges

Officers check that vehicles have their blue badges correctly displayed.

A 38-year-old woman has been ordered to pay a total of £1,150 after being found guilty of misusing a Blue Badge.

Miss Mary Brien, of Courtney Crescent, Carshalton, was caught in a joint Met Police and Sutton Council operation.

Officers found a Toyota vehicle parked in a permit holder’s bay in Hill Road outside the Moon on the Hill in Sutton Town Centre on Wednesday, 21 October 2015.

The vehicle was displaying a Blue Badge in the name of Brien’s mother, who suffers from mobility issues.

In the presence of police and parking services officers, Brien swapped her mother’s Blue Badge with another Blue Badge registered to another person.

Neither of the Blue Badge holders was present at the time.

Blue Badges are issued for the sole use of a named individual and are only valid when it is being used by, or for, the disabled person when that person is present. It is stated clearly on the Badge that misuse may constitute a criminal offence.

At Croydon Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 7 March 2016, Brien was told by the District Judge that there had been dishonesty with neither Blue Badge holder present.

Brien was fined £500 and ordered to pay £600 costs and a victim surcharge of £50 – making a total of £1,150.

Cllr Jill Whitehead, Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee at Sutton Council, said:

“Misusing Blue Badges is not a trivial matter. Blue Badges are issued to help disabled people have convenient access to busy town centres.

“We have only a limited number of disabled parking bays in Sutton and it is important that they are reserved for people who are genuinely disabled. Blue Badges are not to be used by people other than those named on them.”

Police and Sutton Council Parking Services’ officers carry out regular joint patrols and use the borough’s CCTV system to gather evidence to stop misuse of the borough’s 500 disabled parking bays which are for residents who have permanent or severe mobility difficulties and want to park conveniently for the shops.

The vast majority of Sutton’s 7,144 Blue Badge Holders use the Badges as they are intended. However, a small minority of drivers deliberately misuse the Blue Badge privilege.