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Parking Technology Award: London Borough of Haringey

British Parking Awards 2023

01 October 2023
Haringey Council’s Ademuyiwa Shajuyigbe, Denise Adolphe, Joanne Lewis, Tim Gunn, James Rasaki and Adam Callender

 

The London Borough of Haringey is using technology to deter the misuse and theft of Blue Badge permits.

For many disabled residents in Haringey Blue Badge theft and misuse is a huge concern. Whilst the vast majority of Blue Badge holders use their badges responsibly, there are individuals who abuse the scheme by using a badge that has been reported lost or stolen. Misuse by a third party might include using a Blue Badge belonging to someone who has died, using a stolen blue badge or using a fake Blue Badge.

The misuse of the Blue Badge scheme can result in a genuinely disabled person being unable to access a parking space. Whilst having a Blue Badge stolen causes a significant amount of upset, distress and inconvenience as well as cost. The cost of repairs to cars that are broken into to steal Blue Badges can run into hundreds of pounds.

One Haringey Blue Badge holder said: “My Blue Badge was stolen from my car on the disabled bay in front of my house. The car window was smashed in the process. The realisation that my blue badge had been stolen was a shock to the system and made me feel angry, vulnerable and scared. The stress continued weeks after the event due to the hassle of getting a replacement badge as well as a new windscreen for the car with a hefty cost. Simply put it was a nightmare which I do not wish on others to experience.”

Blue Badge Checker

To help identify fake and stolen Blue Badges the Blue Badge Checker was created to combat Blue Badge fraud in Haringey by the council’s compliance manager Tim Gunn, who worked with Taranto Systems to put his vision into the technology. The Blue Badge Checker is a feature on the council’s civil enforcement officer’s handheld devices to check the status and authenticity of a Blue Badge during their day-to-day operations to help confiscate more stolen and fraudulent badges.

Where there is a “hit” against the database, an automated alert (including GPS location of the offending vehicle) is sent to designated council officers, in order to assess the situation and determine what action needs to be taken. This may result in the issue of a penalty charge notice (PCN) and removal of the vehicle.

Any PCN issued will be treated separately to the offences related to the misuse of a disabled persons badge; the charge can be paid or challenged using the appropriate methods outlined on the notice itself.

The Blue Badge Checker is also used by the Compliance and Process Investigation team alongside the civil enforcement officers when undertaking Blue Badge operations around the borough.

Virtual Resident Blue Badge Holder Permit

Alongside the Blue Badge checker and also aimed at reducing Blue Badge fraud, the council created a free virtual Resident Blue Badge Holder Permit. The virtual permit is open to all Blue Badge holders in the borough. It can be used borough-wide in place of a Blue Badge, helping prevent the theft of a Blue Badge from a vehicle.

The virtual permit allows holders to park in non-dedicated parking bays, residential, shared use and pay-by-phone parking bays (controlled using RingGo). The vehicle used can be registered to anyone in the same household.

When using the virtual permit, the Blue Badge must be available for inspection when requested by an enforcement officer. When using the virtual permit, the Blue Badge holder must be present either as the driver or passenger of the vehicle.

Rail & Roads Director
Transport for the North
Manchester
Circa £126k to £147k pa – pay award pending
Works Supervisor
Transport for London
Croydon, London Trams Depot
£36,000 - £39,638
PTU Team Manager
Luton Borough Council
Luton
£50,512 - £53,584 a year plus £3,203 car benefit allowance pro rata
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