Sixfold increase in Blue Badge thefts, says LGA

10 Dec 18

There has been a sixfold increase in Blue Badge thefts over the past five years, the Local Government Association has revealed.

LGA figures, published last month, found thefts in 2018 were 45% up on 2017, from 2,921 thefts to 4,246 thefts. Just 656 thefts were recorded in 2013.

LGA transport spokesman Martin Tett said it was “alarming” that Blue Badge theft had risen so sharply.

“Despite limited resources, councils continue to work hard to crackdown on this growing crime. More Blue Badge fraudsters than ever are being brought to justice by councils who will come down hard on drivers illegally using them,” he said.

“It is important to catch these criminals in the act. To help councils win the fight against Blue Badge fraud, residents must keep tipping us off about people they suspect are illegally using a badge, bearing in mind people’s need for a badge might not be obvious.”

Blue Badges, administered by councils, allow disabled people to use pay-and-display parking bays for free and also permit up to three hours of parking on yellow lines.

In London, Blue Badge holders are exempt from the congestion charge, representing a saving of around £2,500 a year.

More than 2 million badges are in circulation in England. 

Blue Badges are linked to individuals rather than vehicles, allowing holders to use them with friends and relatives and in taxis and hire cars.

The LGA’s findings echo those of CIPFA’s Fraud and Corruption Tracker, which in October revealed that Blue Badge fraud was the second-fastest growing area of fraud after business rates fraud.

Read CIPFA chief executive Rob Whiteman on why collaboration is key to fighting fraud

  • Vivienne Russell

    Vivienne Russell is managing editor of Public Finance magazine and publicfinance.co.uk

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