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Clampdown on blue badge fraud in Wigan

A blue badge sign, similar to ones which have been ignored by some borough motorists
A blue badge sign, similar to ones which have been ignored by some borough motorists

Three men have been prosecuted in the past six weeks for illegally using blue badges to park in borough disabled bays.

The town hall is working to ensure disabled Wiganers with genuine documentation are not blocked by people fraudulently using the badges.

Last month, the council took two people to Wigan Magistrates’ Court on the same day.

On May 1, Craig Green of Dunoon Road in Aspull, pleaded guilty to blue badge misuse when displaying a badge on Standishgate.

The 37-year-old admitted that the owner was at home at the time he used it and that he knew it was a clear misuse of the badge and irresponsible to take away the use of a disabled parking space for a genuine badge holder.

Simon Luxton of Broughton Lane in Salford also pleaded guilty to blue badge offences. Luxton, 51, admitted to wrongly displaying the badge of a friend while parking in a disabled bay on Loire Drive near the DW Stadium.

The badge holder was not present for the inward or outward journey. Both Green and Luxton were ordered to pay costs to Wigan Council and were imposed with fines and victim surcharges for their offences, coming to £280 each.

On April 24, Daniel Keen of Balmoral Drive in Leigh, pleaded guilty to misuse of a disabled blue badge on Gas Street. The owner of the badge was at home at the time of the incident, when Keen parked in a disabled-only bay.

The court awarded Wigan Council the full investigation costs and legal costs along with imposing a fine and victim surcharge on Keen totalling £295.

In 2017/18 the council’s internal audit team investigated 110 cases of blue badge fraud with 104 being proven as fraud.

Of these, 93 badges were destroyed, six offenders were given formal cautions and there were five prosecutions.

Coun Nazia Rehman, cabinet member for resources, finance and transformation, said: “The misuse of blue badges is an illegal and selfish act which abuses a system in place to help vulnerable people in our communities.

“People misusing blue badges in the borough need to be aware they are risking being taken to court or receiving a fine.”

To report blue badge fraud visit www.wigan.gov.uk online.