Operation Clamp: Two fined as crackdown on blue badge misuse continues

Two further people have been prosecuted as part of the ongoing Operation Clamp campaign by Watford Borough Council and Herts Police.

Published: Tuesday, 10th November 2015

Watford Magistrates Court ordered Ian Williams, 53, of Goddard Drive, Bushey, to pay £363 yesterday after he illegally parked on a single yellow line in George Street, central Watford. Carina Oliveria, of Westlea Avenue, Watford, was ordered to pay a total of £380 by the court on the same day. The two were stopped earlier this year as part of Operation Clamp, where police and council officers join forces to inspect and question motorists displaying blue badges when parked

Oliveria said she was dropping off dry cleaning after being stopped on Saturday 30 May. The 37-year-old admitted she had been using her mother’s disabled blue badge to park illegally in Market Street, Watford, despite her mum not being with her.

She was cautioned and the badge was taken away from her. Oliveria missed a court appearance on Friday 16 October, stating that she had not received the summons. She did not turn up for a scheduled appearance at Watford Magistrates Court yesterday either, instead sending in a letter. However, she was ordered to pay a £150 fine, £60 prosecution costs, £150 court charge and £20 victim surcharge in her absence.

Williams was also stopped on Saturday 30 May as part of Operation Clamp. Police and council officers discovered that the badge holder was not present when Williams was using the badge. Yesterday, after pleading guilty, he was fined £133 in his absence and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £60, criminal court charges of £150 and a £20 victim surcharge.

The rulings follow the council’s prosecution of two separate women, who were last month ordered to pay more than £250 each for blue badge misuse at Watford Magistrates Court.

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 in certain pay and display bays without charge.

Elected Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill said: “When an able-bodied person parks illegally with a blue badge that means the space cannot be used by someone who is genuinely disabled. It is important that these spaces are reserved for people who live with pain or limited mobility, not for people with nothing wrong with them.”

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