Police tackle misuse of blue badges

Police are working with the council to tackle misuse of disabled blue badges. Picture: Sussex Police
Police are working with the council to tackle misuse of disabled blue badges. Picture: Sussex Police

Sussex Police and East Sussex County Council (ESCC) have been working together over the past two years to tackle misuse of disabled driver blue badges throughout East Sussex.

Blue badges are issued to a person who meets disability criteria after assessments by the council.

Unfortunately, many people every year are caught misusing these badges, which is a criminal offence, police said.

Many offenders get caught trying to use another person’s badge to gain free parking or to park in a disabled bay.

People have also been caught altering the badge if they have been refused a renewal, using someone’s badge following their death or just displaying an expired badge, police confirmed.

In 2015 a total of 173 badges were seized from the streets of Sussex, with people caught misusing them in various ways.

This has led to them receiving a formal community resolution from police or being prosecuted by the council, resulting in a criminal record which could affect their lives in many different ways, a police spokesman said.

Sadly badge seizures increased in 2016, with 198 badges confiscated and resultant police or council sanctions.

If anyone currently owns a disabled blue badge which is out-of-date or they no longer need it – it should be returned to the Blue Badge team, St Mary’s House, Eastbourne.

Alternatively unwanted blue badges can be handed in at any police station, marked for the attention of PC Lloyd Archer at Hastings police station.

Sussex Police and ESCC continue to work in partnership in 2017 to tackle this issue and to deal with anyone misusing blue badges.

If anyone knows of anyone misusing a blue badge please report it to Blue Badge investigating officer Mark Jobling via mark.jobling@eastsussex.gov.uk, or call the helpline on 01323 464244.

All reports of misuse are investigated and anyone reporting suspects will remain anonymous.

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