Civil Enforcement Officers at Wyre Forest District Council have completed a week-long operation as part of a district-wide crackdown on the misuse of disabled blue badge permits within the district.

With an estimated three million blue badges issued in England and Wales and close to 10,000 badges issued in Worcestershire alone, demand for parking in disabled bays is high.

Between Monday 23 July and Friday 27 July the council’s team inspected a total of 121 badges displayed by drivers parking in the district council’s car parks and at busy on-street parking bays in the towns of Kidderminster, Stourport and Bewdley.

The majority of permits inspected were being used properly, however officers discovered eight (6.6%) blue badges being misused. These were retained and returned to Worcestershire County Council, which administers the scheme.

Officers also spoke to another 17 badgeholders (14%)  to offer relevant advice such as how badges should legally be displayed.

Cabinet Member for Operational Services Councillor Rebecca Vale said: “The blue badge scheme is designed to give people with genuine disabilities easy access to shops, services and town centres. Clearly the majority of permit holders in Wyre Forest are using the scheme properly. Our annual campaign serves as a timely reminder that we will take action if we do spot people using permits fraudulently.

“Blue badge misuse is a serious offence which can result in a maximum fine of £1,000, as well as withdrawal of the badge. It is important that disabled parking spaces are reserved for those who genuinely need them most.”