Sutton’s crackdown on Blue Badge fraudsters continues with three more drivers convicted at Croydon Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 12 July.
The three men had parked in disabled bays in Lodge Place, off Sutton High Street, without the named Badge Holder being present. Blue Badges are issued for the sole use of a named individual and are only valid when it is being used by, or for, the disabled person when that person is present. It is stated clearly on the Badge that misuse may constitute a criminal offence.
The three drivers were caught in one of the frequent joint operations between Sutton Council and the Met Police in Sutton.
One offender, William Clack, aged 18, of Glastonbury Road, Morden, approached a Peugeot vehicle he had parked earlier on Friday 27 May, only to realise he was being watched by a Council Fraud and Recovery Officer.
CCTV footage showed the driver was the sole occupant of the vehicle and had parked the Peugeot at 6.19am and placed a Blue Badge on the dashboard.
Clack returned to the vehicle at 3.37pm that day but found the Council Fraud and Recovery Officer waiting for him. Clack denied parking the vehicle that morning, explaining that his mother – the badge holder – had dropped him off to work and she had then gone shopping. But when the Fraud and Recovery Officer spoke to the badge holder on the phone she admitted that she did not drive.
The other offenders were Aneshram Chokra, aged 20, of Northcote Road, New Malden, who parked a Hyundai on Monday 23 May to do some shopping while the Blue Badge holder – his father – was at home, and Brian Gingell, aged 66, of Percy Road, Mitcham, who had parked a Vauxhall on Friday 27 May to do some shopping while the Blue Badge holder – his mother – was at home.
At Croydon Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 12 July all three pleaded guilty and were each given a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £20. In addition, Clack was ordered to pay costs of £255, Gingell £497 and Chokra £250.
Police and Sutton Council Parking Services’ officers carry out regular joint patrols to stop misuse of the borough’s disabled parking bays, which are for residents who have permanent or severe mobility difficulties and want to park conveniently for the shops. The borough’s CCTV system and Civil Enforcement Officers’ body-worn cameras are used to gather evidence in court.