Nobody prosecuted for blue badge abuse in Shropshire
Shropshire Council has not caught anyone abusing the blue badge disabled parking permit scheme in the last 12 months.
In the past 12 months 94 out of 152 English local authorities, 62 per cent, did not pursue anyone for abusing the blue badge scheme.
These include 31 councils – including Shropshire – who did not catch anyone despite claiming to have a policy for prosecuting offenders.
Other local authorities in Nottingham, Middlesbrough, Luton, Milton Keynes, Bournemouth and Reading were among those to record zero prosecutions according to analysis of Department for Transport data.
Almost every case involving the 1,215 prosecutions which were launched involved drivers using someone else’s blue badge.
The number of blue badges reported stolen increased by 45 per cent year-on-year to 4,246.
About 2.4 million disabled people in England have blue badges, which are issued by councils.
The permits allow holders to park free of charge in pay and display bays and for up to three hours on yellow lines, while those in London are exempt from the congestion charge.
Across England, the largest number of prosecutions were made by the London boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, 137, and Newham, 88, with Leeds, 78, in third place.
Phil Talbot of disability charity Scope said: "It's disgraceful that so many local councils have failed to take action against people misusing blue badges – particularly at a time when thefts are on the rise.
"The police and councils need to do all they can to ensure they are serving their disabled residents by cracking down on this abuse."
Martin Tett, transport spokesman for the Local Government Association, representing councils, said: "Councils have to take tough decisions on targeting limited resources on enforcement.
"Gathering evidence and mounting a prosecution can be time-consuming and expensive but councils know their areas and are best placed to decide the most effective way to tackle it."
Mr Tett claimed the disparity in enforcement levels across the country is likely to reflect "different levels of pressures on available parking".
He added that people could help councils win the fight against Blue Badge fraud by tipping them off about suspected offenders.