The council has fined fraudsters in Buckinghamshire, including over Blue Badge misuse. 

Buckinghamshire Council’s fraud team launched an operation against misuse and scam, which costs the taxpayer thousands of pounds each year.

The dedicated team fights housing benefit cheating, council tax scams, cybercrime and other forms of exploitation.

Recently the fraud team launched a joint operation with the parking services to target Blue Badge misuse.

Investigators caught several people using expired badges or overstaying time limits in disabled parking bays. Offenders were slapped with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) for their parking contravention and sent warning letters.

Bucks Free Press: Expired Blue Badge discovered by the fraud teamExpired Blue Badge discovered by the fraud team (Image: Buckinghamshire Council)

Buckinghamshire Council’s cabinet member for transport Steven Broadbent said: “Blue Badge misuse is not only fraud, but also a serious problem for our most vulnerable residents who rely on the scheme to access essential services and facilities.

"By parking in disabled bays without a valid badge, offenders are taking away spaces from those who really need them, causing them unnecessary inconvenience and stress.

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“The recent successful operation by our teams to identify those who misuse Blue Badges – whether they are expired, stolen or used by someone else – sends a clear message to anyone who thinks they can get away with this dishonest and selfish behaviour: we will find you and we will take action.

“Suspected abuses of the Blue Badge scheme should be reported to us via our website.”

Fraud costs the public purse an estimated £50 billion every year, which is around £1,000 per household. 

Of all crimes committed in the UK, fraud accounts for around 40 percent of them, the council said. 

The council takes "all fraud allegations seriously" and they are investigated "thoroughly," Buckinghamshire Council's cabinet member for accessible housing and resources John Chilver said. 

"Fraud harms all Buckinghamshire residents by diverting funds away from essential services. Which is why we should all be vigilant – your tip-off could stop the cheats," he added. 

The operation comes as part of action during International Fraud Awareness Week on November 12-18.