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Blue Badge parking fraud investigators lie in wait for their prey


With more than half the Blue Badge disabled parking permits being used illegally in parts of the country, David Harrison meets one man whose job it is to catch the cheats.

Credit: Article from The Telegraph by David Harrison 19th September 2010

Image: PC Paul Davis and Fraud Investigator Paul Williamson on the streets surrounding the Westfield Shopping Centre. Summonds issued for suspected misuse Photo: DAVID ROSE

He lurks under the trees, scanning the street, waiting for his prey. A silver Polo arrives, parks, and Paul Williamson makes his move. “Let’s go,” he says, striding towards his target.

Mr Williamson is a blue badge investigator intent on catching motorists who misuse the disabled parking scheme.
The Polo driver, a middle-aged woman, looks startled as Mr Williamson and the policeman working with him, PC Paul Davis, approach her and ask to see her badge.

The badge is genuine, but it belongs to her husband and she can only use it when he is with her. Mr Williamson makes a call and the husband is contacted – at his home address.

The woman pleads to be let off, but Mr Williamson and PC Davis cannot make exceptions. Her badge is confiscated.


Hundreds of fake Blue Badges are seized every year. Many abusers are prosecuted for fraud.

Caption: Hundreds of fake Blue Badges are seized every year. Councils are employing specialist teams to crack down on Blue Badge fraud and take perpetrators to court.


Her husband will now have to apply for a new one and she faces prosecution and a fine of around £1,000 if found guilty.

She was one of three drivers caught by Mr Williams in the space of a few hours as he staked out a spot near the Westfields shopping mall in West London last week.

“It’s close to the shops and the Tube, and people take advantage,” PC Davis said.

The second driver the pair caught was a woman in a Volkswagen, who was found to be using her mother’s badge, again with her disabled parent nowhere to be seen.

The third, the driver of a four-wheel drive BMW, with a personalised number plate and child seat, had a blue badge issued in Darlington in the name of an 88-year-old man.

He said the badge belonged to his father and they had come down to London together to visit his daughter. He claimed his father was in the shopping centre but when they went to look for him there was no sign of him after 45 minutes.

In all three cases the badges were seized and the suspected misusers face further investigation, prosecution and a fine, if found guilty. The badges will be returned to the holders.

Other drivers decided not to park in Macfarlane Rd when they saw the investigators. A young man driving a Vauxhall moved away quickly as the team walked towards his car.

“We were tipped off about that one,” Mr Williamson said. “But he’ll be back, and so will we.”

View full article on The Telegraph.