70,000 disabled parking badges confiscated in fraud probe


70,000 disabled parking badges confiscated in fraud probe

Nearly 70,000 fraudulent disabled parking users have had their blue badges revoked after a crackdown by the Audit Commission's National Fraud Initiative.

Aiming to recover an estimated £1 billion lost to fraud, the Commission's investigations also resulted in the cancellation of nearly 100,000 concessionary travel passes.

In one instance, a woman from Bromley, south London was fined £181 after being convicted of fraud for using a blue badge belonging to her deceased mother.

Portsmouth City Council were also able to recover the cost of a year's travel tokens, which allow owners to use buses, taxies and ferries, from a man who had claimed them on behalf of his deceased wife for over seven years.

The majority of the fraud uncovered related to pensions, housing benefit and council tax. By cross-referencing data held by 1,300 public and 77 private sector sources, the Commission was also able to identify 164 individuals who had no legal right to work in the UK.

They were subsequently dismissed from roles in organisations such as the NHS and local authorities.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Jeremy Newman, Chairman of the Audit Commission, said: "The NFI is a powerful weapon in the fight to protect taxpayers' money from fraud.

"The vigilance of organisations from local councils to central government departments, supplying essential data and investigating potential frauds flagged up by the initiative, has paid off to the tune of £1 billion."