Two women stopped on the same day for using blue badges illegally have been prosecuted after Watford Borough Council and Herts Police launched Operation Clamp.
Elaine Butcher, aged 57, of Longspring, Watford, was using her husband’s blue badge in George Street, near the town centre, when he was not with her. She was stopped and questioned by Herts Police and fraud officers from Watford Borough Council. She said she was going to the bank to withdraw cash to pay for his dental treatment, after dropping him off at a dental practice. She was cautioned and the badge was taken away from her, and she later admitted to using it incorrectly when interviewed by council officers.
Rizvana Ul-Haq, aged 31, of Scammell Way, Watford, was caught out during the same targeted sting on Saturday 30 May as a part of Operation Clamp. She had used a blue badge to park on a double yellow line at Wellstones near the town centre while its owner was not with her.
The two of them were sentenced at Watford Magistrates Court on Friday. Butcher was ordered to pay a fine, victim surcharge, court charge and prosecution costs totalling £270. Ul-Haq was fined £100 and ordered to pay £60 in prosecution costs, a £150 court charge and £20 victim surcharge.
The Disabled Blue Badge Scheme allows people that are disabled to use the badge to park nearer to their destination either as a passenger or as a driver. The badge also allows them to park on single and double yellow lines, and certain pay and display bays without charge.
Elected Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill said: “While these may be seem like petty offences, blue badges are only there for those who really need them. They are there for people with pain or limited mobility, not for able-bodied people who have nothing wrong with them.”