0207 370 0027 info@bbfi.org.uk

Highest number of fraudulent Blue Badges seized.

Highest number of fraudulent Blue Badges seized – the Blue Badge scheme is still not being enforced.

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the landmark Disability Discrimination Act, later replaced with the Equality Act in 2010, and a time to look back and remember those that campaigned to make it unlawful to discriminate against disabled people.

This anniversary has coincided with BBFi Public Sector Investigations latest Blue Badge misuse figures and with a record-breaking number of badges seized in the last few months we asked ourselves why is change not happening quicker?


Blue Badge fraud data graph 2020-2021

Blue Badge fraud data graph 2019 2020


With an average of 57 badges being seized a month (across a year) seeing up to 124 badges being seized in just October this year it is clear that the message of the importance of the blue badge scheme and what it means to the disabled community is not getting through.

As stated by the government ‘The Blue Badge scheme helps those with severe mobility problems who have difficulty using public transport to park close to where they need to go’. This includes being able to park to access employment or public transport to then get to your place of work.
BBFI recently sponsored the DMUK Baywatch Campaign which again saw alarming results with 95.6% of participants saying that they did not think that local authorities were doing enough to tackle Blue Badge abuse.

But what is the reason for this record number of blue badges being seized. Is it down to the fact that there are now more badges available since the change to the scheme in 2019 and giving access to people with hidden disabilities? Or it is down to the fact that the scheme is not being enforced universally?

Paul Slowey, Director and Founder of BBFi Public Sector Investigations said: “Disabled people are some of the bravest and most courageous people in society. The COVID pandemic has shown just how vulnerable people are. They need a blue badge, it is a great scheme, but it needs to be enforced in every borough, every high street, and every car park. No excuses – enforce the scheme.”

With a lot of services that the disabled community rely upon being cut or changed over the years it puts a spotlight on what more we can do to raise awareness of how important our national blue badge scheme is in avoiding people feeling isolate or frustrated because they are unable to do a simple task like visit their local town.

Evidence suggests that:
• 1 in 5 blue badges, or 500,000 out of 2.5 million awarded are being misused.
• An estimated only 1 in 412 offences are currently prosecuted for badge misuse.
• Compliance varies greatly across England with only 32 of the 152 English authorities prosecuting 10 or more people for misuse in 2019.

We can highlight many more statistics but what it all adds up to is that there is still a job to be done. Just as the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the Equality Act 2010 still have a long way to go we believe that there is also a long way to go for people to understand that Blue Badge misuse is a criminal act and that there is penalty for misuse, let alone the morality of upholding the scheme.

BBFI take enforcement of the scheme seriously and strongly believe that by continuing to work with local authorities and investigating those suspected of misuse, and preparing cases for court and prosecution, we can continue deter misuse and enforce the scheme nationwide.

For more information go to bbfi.org.uk or contact the BBFI team info@bbfi.org.uk or 0207 370 0027.