Two drivers who misused blue badges to park near a town centre have been prosecuted as part of a crackdown on the crime by Watford Borough Council.
Saleem Nasir was fined £50 and ordered to pay £60 costs and a £20 victim surcharge, while Shonali Mathur faced a £100 fine, £60 costs and £20 victim surcharge. The pair pleaded guilty at St Albans Magistrates Court on Wednesday 10 August after being nabbed during Operation Blue Badge by the council and Herts Police earlier this year.
Nasir, of Boundary Way, Watford, admitted using his son’s badge to park in Watford High Street to go to the bank. Mathur, of Colne Way, Watford, said she used her husband’s badge to park on the same road to collect some medication for him. Initially, she had claimed she was picking her husband up from the town centre – but changed her story after further questioning.
Both Nasir and Mathur were cautioned and had the blue badge taken from them before facing an interview in the council’s offices by its specialist fraud investigators.
The law allows people with the disabled blue badge to park nearer their destination on single and double yellow lines, and in certain pay and display bays without charge. It can be used if the disabled person is a driver or passenger in the vehicle or by someone dropping off or collecting the disabled person. It is a criminal offence to use the badge in any other circumstances.
Elected Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill said: “We take blue badge fraud very seriously. These badges are an important tool for the disabled and should not be misused under any circumstance. Our fraud officers do watch out for this, so don’t risk months of worry and a fine to save five minutes of your time and a small parking fee.”