Blue Badge crime falls 65% thanks to council’s virtual parking permits
Blue Badge related crime figures have fallen 65% in Haringey following the launch of the council’s virtual parking permit system in August 2021.
Between January to June 2021, Haringey police recorded a total of 528 crime reports relating to Blue Badges, including cars being broken into and the badge stolen. This has fallen dramatically to 185 for the same period in 2022, thanks to over 2,000 Blue Badge holders in Haringey signing up for a free virtual Resident Blue Badge Holder Permit.
Following feedback from the borough’s most vulnerable residents on how they were continually being targeted by criminals by having to display their Blue Badge in their vehicles, the council worked with their Parking Management IT System provider, Taranto, to develop the virtual equivalent of a Blue Badge and integrate it into their parking permit system to provide an easily accessible solution.
Haringey Residents that hold a Blue Badge can register online for the free permit, with Civil Enforcement Officers able to check their permit status using just their vehicle number plate, meaning no Blue Badge and clock or paper permit needs to be displayed to prevent theft and vehicle damage.
Cllr Seema Chandwani, Cabinet Member for Tackling Inequality and Resident Services, said: “After listening to the issues our residents were sadly experiencing due to Blue Badge crime and fraud, we made it our priority to tackle these concerns as accessibly and effectively as possible. I am so pleased with the results we have already seen, and we are committed to continuing our efforts in improving accessibility for residents with disabilities and stopping this crime.
“This has been a fantastic example of how much positive impact working together with residents and service providers to identify solutions can make, and we look forward to continuing this approach in the future.”
The permit comes as part of the council’s Disability Parking Action Plan, which has been co-produced with residents and the Physical Disabilities Reference Group. The plan works to address the main concerns with disabled parking in Haringey, with dedicated disabled bays, the removal of the replacement fee of stolen Blue Badges, improved enforcement policies and the extension of disabled bays introduced as part of it.
The council has also taken an extra step in tackling Blue Badge fraud in Haringey by further developing the parking permit system with Taranto to give Civil Enforcement Officers the ability to carry out real time checks on Blue Badges displayed in vehicles to find those using them fraudulently.
Previously, the council has had to rely on the cooperation of the police to carry out joint operations to find fraudulent Badge use. Now, Blue Badges can be checked throughout our daily enforcement operations, with 270 fines already handed out and 60 cars removed and Blue Badges seized.
Residents with a Blue Badge can apply for the Resident Blue Badge Permit online for free now.
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