24 August 2012

Showing a green light to blue badge fraud

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Barnet Council want to raise money from the sale of blue badges. What do they do about blue badge fraud? Very little anything at all.

FOI question:

How many blue badges have been taken away by Barnet Council and how many people prosecuted in each of the last 5 years?

I am writing to inform you that we have searched our records and some of the information you requested is not held by London Borough of Barnet. In respect of the removal of blue badges, the Council holds no information before November 2011. (why ever not? perhaps that answer is less embarrassing than the actual statistics which probably show no removals for misuse)

Blue badges can be confiscated by other Local Authorities but the decision to return the badge is up to the issuing authority. The London Borough of Barnet has 1 record of an instance where a badge has been confiscated and not returned to the applicant.

In respect of the number of prosecutions, the London Borough of Barnet has undertaken no prosecutions in connection with blue badge misuse in the last 5 years.
If no-one sees prosecutions occurring for blue badge abuse in Barnet the word will spread amongst cheats and more will try Barnet for a badge.
Nearby Enfield can do it and Harrow. There are 19,500 badges in issue in Barnet. A conservative 1% abuse level would mean 195 badges returned, 195 lots of parking income, 195 less applications to process every 3 years etc.
Yours frugally
Mr Mustard

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