London Assembly Member Joanne McCartney AM recently observed a local police operation in Haringey, tackling disability parking permit fraud for the rights of disabled drivers. So far a success, Operation Bodmin has seen blue badge abusers held accountable and badges confiscated. An important issue for local residents, Ms McCartney was “glad to see action taken to help make a difference.”
Representatives from Disabled Drivers UK accompanied Ms McCartney as local police officers dealt with the misuse of the blue badge scheme. Fraudulent badges have increasingly been sold for up to £1000 on the black market, causing distress for disabled drivers in Haringey. The local police continue to crack down on abuses of the scheme with patrols seeing blue badges recovered, vehicles seized and an arrest. If successful, it is planned to make this a London-wide initiative.
Green Lanes, N4 has been identified as an area in which blue badges are stolen and abused in the greatest numbers causing difficulties for vulnerable residents who rely on disabled parking bays to keep their independence.
Joanne McCartney AM has previously raised the issue of theft of blue badges with Transport for London (TfL), Haringey Council and the local neighbourhood police teams, helping to ensure that the Haringey Companion Badge Scheme, introduced to deter thefts, was recognised by TfL parking enforcement officers.
Local Labour London Assembly Member Joanne McCartney AM said:
“Blue badges and the Haringey Companion Badge scheme provide a vital service to disabled drivers giving independence and access to local amenities. It is understandably frustrating when parking permits designed to help disabled drivers park nearer to their homes and local services, are abused or stolen.
“I support the local police in their efforts to crack down on abuses and thefts of blue badges and hope that these patrols will reduce the number of thefts and abuses, allowing disabled drivers to access the valuable disabled parking spaces without fear of theft or the frustration of the space being taken by a driver who does not need it.”