Blue Badge Fraudster Fined

Brentford woman caught using disabled parking permit

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A 26 year old woman from Brentford has become the first person to be prosecuted for Blue Badge fraud by the London Borough of Hounslow. Donna Huddy, aged 26, of Cassiobury Avenue, is now £355 out of pocket after pleading guilty to the fraud at Brentford Magistrate’s Court last week.

The council’s fraud team and local police have been involved in a joint exercise to crackdown on the illegal use of Blue Badges. These permits, issued to disabled drivers or passengers, not only allow free parking and parking in restricted areas, but also exempt holders from the congestion charge in central London.

In January 2008 a team from Feltham police station found a vehicle displaying a Blue Badge and parked on a yellow line. Inside the vehicle was a woman who said the driver was at the bank and a supermarket. Enquiries made by the police and the fraud team showed the Blue Badge had been issued to a company that transports disabled people.

Cllr Barbara Reid, lead member for environment at the council, said, "People who misuse Blue Badges are not only breaking the law, they are selfishly making life more difficult for people who genuinely need parking exemptions. This woman admitted her crime, but that doesn’t hide the fact she knew what she was doing was illegal. We will continue to crackdown on this fraud to protect the rights of our disabled residents.”

The fraud team have begun looking into this type of crime following their successes in tackling benefit fraud. They now investigate a range of offences committed against the council in order to protect public funds.

September 12, 2008