0207 370 0027 info@bbfi.org.uk

Waltham Forest takes action against minority of road users who do not show respect to the rest of us.

Waltham Forest Council Cracks Down on Blue Badge Fraud

Waltham Forest Council works with BBFI to take action against unscrupulous drivers who misuse Blue Badges and deprive those in genuine need of much-needed parking spaces.

The Council and its partners BBFI Public Sector Investigations, who work with local authorities investigating blue badge and housing tenancy fraud, have removed over 60 Blue Badges for misuse in August, September, and October as a new campaign cracking down misuse and fraud shows impressive results.

A service to identify and enforce against Blue Badge fraud has been in place for a number of years in the borough. After a review of the process, the Council identified how it could work with BBFI Public Sector Investigations to increase the amount of actions taken against the fraudsters who make life hard for those in genuine need.

Blue Badges are meant exclusively for people who have physical or mental health conditions which means they need to park closer to their destinations. Blue Badge fraud can include use of a counterfeit or stolen badge, or a badge owned by a deceased family member, as well as wrongful use of a lawfully held badge.

The clampdown started in August this year, with 303 vehicles being checked and 26 Blue Badges removed for misuse. In September 399 vehicles were checked, with 15 badges being removed, and in October a record 655 vehicles were checked with 23 badges being removed. This means that in total, during this three months, over 1,350 vehicles were checked and over 60 Blue Badges were removed for illegitimate usage.

Cllr Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “Blue Badge fraud deprives residents in genuine need and makes life needlessly difficult for those with valid badges and their families. It’s sad but true that there are a minority of road users who are so lazy they would happily make other peoples’ lives difficult for the sake of a convenient parking spot.

“I’m pleased to say now that, working with our partners at BBFi, Blue Badge fraudsters in Waltham Forest will not be able to rest easy. Every time they leave their vehicle illegally parked and misuse a the badge scheme they will not be able to get comfortable as there is good chance our team will have identified the fraud and will have begun enforcement action, which could include removal of the vehicle.

“The fraudulent use of Blue Badges causes real difficulties for residents in genuine need and we will not tolerate it in Waltham Forest.”

A Blue Badge user from Waltham Forest, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “The Blue Badge scheme is so important especially for wheelchair users like me who need to park in the disabled bays because we need the extra space to transfer into our wheelchairs. My badge is vital to me as I would not be able to get around and live independently without it.

“There is not enough enforcement taking place across the country and the scheme is being abused as a result which is heart-breaking for people like me. I congratulate the council for doing something about it and tackling the issue instead of just ignoring it. Action is what we want to see, not empty words and platitudes. I dread to think what it would be like if there was nothing being done to tackle this persistent problem.

“I would like to see more people out on the streets checking Blue Badges and also tackling other parking issues which can cause a danger to children and wheelchair users like me, for example parking on dropped kerbs and parking too close to junctions.”

Paul Slowey, Founder and Director of BBFI Public Sector Investigations, said: “After seeing thousands of cases I am still amazed that an able bodied person would pretend to be disabled to get free parking. This is not a victimless crime, disabled people can’t park because the bays are taken up by frauds, the work Waltham Forest are doing in this area is first rate, they are leading the way across London.”

If you know of someone who is misusing a Blue Badge in Waltham Forest you can make an anonymous report on the Council website so that officers can take action. Click here to get more information about who is eligible for a Blue Badge and how to apply for one on the Government website here.

The Council has also carried out work to make disabled parking bays a cross Waltham Forest enforceable. Most disabled bays in London are advisory – although it is clear they are intended for disabled drivers there are no penalties for misuse of these bays. However, if a driver without genuine need uses an enforceable disabled bay they would be liable for a fine.

The results figures from Waltham Forest Crackdown on Blue Badge misuse at a glance:

Tot Blue Badges* Checked 303 399 655
Tot PCNs* Issued for Misuse 57 30 49
Tot BBs Confiscated 26 15 23
Misuse by Category
Expired BB 24 4 8
BB Reported Stolen 17 9 15
BB Reported Lost 5 7 2
Cancelled BB 9 6 17
Fake BB 1 2 1
BB owner Reported Deceased 1 2 6


*BB is a Blue Badge (Disabled Badge)
**PCN is a Penalty Charge Notice

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