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Parking in the Community: BBFi Public Sector Investigations

British Parking Awards 2021

15 January 2022
The IPC`s Chris Naylor and awards host Marcus Brigstocke with BBFi`s Paul Slowey
The IPC`s Chris Naylor and awards host Marcus Brigstocke with BBFi`s Paul Slowey

 

Blue Badge fraud can include use of counterfeit or stolen badges, a badge owned by a deceased family member, as well as wrongful use of a lawfully held badge and spotting a fraudulent badge takes skill and experience. BBFi Public Sector Investigations is a Community Interest Company committed to protecting the rights of the disabled by providing specialist skills to local authorities. With an estimated 500,000 out of 2.5 million awarded Blue Badges being misused, the team at BBFi works with local authorities across England. In 2020 seized 632 badges and prepared 75% of cases against drivers for court.

BBFi’s founder and chief executive Paul Slowey says: “Gathering insight from those that are experiencing difficulties on a daily basis is invaluable. We conducted a survey that told us that 95.6% of participants do not think that local authorities are doing enough to enforce the scheme. We use the survey results to increase awareness of the need to enforce the Blue Badge scheme and ensure that we are giving the disabled community a voice.”

The work that the BBFi team does in partnership with local authorities is now responsible for the vast majority of badges being seized in the UK. “Our approach to working with any authority is to establish a partnership and truly understand the community in which we are operating. Developing relationships with the enforcement teams, local police as well as local charities and bodies means that we have a well-rounded perspective of the area in which we are working and can develop a comprehensive way of working that enables the seizure of fraudulent badges.”

BBFi works with Cardiff Council, which says: “Since working with BBFi, there has definitely been more compliance with pay & display facilities. Aside from financial benefits, we now have the full package of enforcement measures in place and have closed any loopholes that previously existed within our own enforcement. By providing our in-house staff with additional training and arranging a meeting between our team and the local police, BBFi has provided us with fantastic support.”

Gloucestershire County Council says: “BBFi has an excellent relationship with our legal department and, with the experience they bring to case preparation and prosecution work, it’s clear to see why they are the leading authority in this type of work.”

BBFi’s work with London Borough of Waltham Forest has seen it also receive the Partnerships Award this year. The council says: “BBFi has an excellent relationship with the local police and works with them to follow up leads from members of the public and carry out proactive operations. Most importantly we are seeing an increase in compliance with the scheme in some locations where misuse was previously prolific.”

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