DRIVERS in Brent have been caught parking illegally and hogging disabled spaces by using Blue Badges that do not belong to them.
In a one day crackdown, 18 drivers had their badge confiscated with most also getting slapped with a £60 parking fine.
The sting, in Wembley town centre, on Friday morning (Mar 4) was organised by audit and investigation officers from Brent Council.
Officers had spotted high levels of Blue Badge use in the side roads near Wembley High Road and were suspicious that not all drivers were entitled to park in disabled bays.
Simon Lane, head of Audit and Investigation at Brent Council said: “Intelligence showed that these roads were rammed with cars displaying disabled badges – a higher number than we would expect. We also knew that genuine disabled drivers were finding it difficult to find parking so we organised the operation to crack down on misuse.”
Officers, with the support of parking enforcement and Brent Police - stopped anyone using a Blue Badge to check if they were the official badge holder. They were able to check the photo on the badge, or details they had about the badge holder, with the person using it.
Anyone caught using a badge that did not belong to them had the permit confiscated, were issued with a parking ticket and told to attend the Town Hall for a formal interview under caution.
Mr Lane said: “The badge is issued to the disabled person and only they can use it. If they are not in the car then you are not entitled to use the disabled badge. Most people are aware of the rules but continue to abuse the system.”
Confiscated badges will be returned to their registered owner with a formal warning but could be taken away permanently if the abuse continues.
Out of the 18 seized, three are suspected of being lost, stolen or counterfeit.