Bank staff and hospital worker caught using disabled parking permits
Published: Thursday 6th April 17
Two bank branch employees and a member of staff at St George’s Hospital have been taken to court and fined after being caught fraudulently using other people’s disabled parking badges.
Eight people in total were caught misusing “Blue Badge” permits to park their vehicles. All were using genuine badges that belonged to disabled relatives or friends.
Clockwise from top left: Jashree Parmar, Saima Ahmed, Barrington Fairman-Campbell, Fadila Ramzi, Babar Ahmad and Ganett Phiri
Abuse of the system is widespread in London and in other big cities because the permits allow holders to park virtually anywhere they like free of charge.
However the badges can only be used lawfully if the disabled person is either driving the vehicle or being carried as a passenger and being dropped-off or picked-up at that location.
In one of the cases recently brought to court magistrates were told the genuine holder was hundreds of miles away in Northern Ireland whilst his 37-year-old daughter Angeli McDowall, of Trinity Road, Tooting Bec, was using the badge to go shopping in Clapham Junction.
She pleaded guilty to fraudulent misuse of the badge and was ordered to pay £630 in fines and court costs.
Bank worker Jashree Parmar, aged 61, of York Hill in West Norwood, was caught using her mother’s badge to occupy a designated disabled parking space in Ramsden Road in Balham, whilst working in the town centre. She pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay £1,230 in fines and court costs, on top of the £165 it cost to recover her car after it was towed away.
A second bank worker, 38-year-old Saima Ahmed from Green Lane, Norbury, had to pay the same amount in fines, costs and tow charges after her car was removed from Laitwood Road in Balham. She was repeatedly using her mother’s badge to commute and park near her workplace.
Hospital worker Barrington Fairman-Campbell, 58, from Leander Road, Thornton Heath also pleaded guilty and was made to pay fines and costs totalling £1,230 plus the £165 tow charge after using his wife’s badge to park in Fountain Road, Tooting whilst working at St George’s.
London Underground worker Ganett Phiri was also caught using a friend’s badge to park in Boundaries Road. The 40-year-old, from Mead Way in Coulsdon, pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay £1,230 on top of the £165 it cost him to get his car back.
Sixty one-year-old Fadila Ramzi of Franciscan Road, Tooting, was caught regularly using her husband’s badge to park in Ramsden Road in Balham whilst shopping. She was told to pay £670 in fines and costs in addition to the £165 tow charge.
And shopworker Babar Ahmad, aged 38, from Manor Road in Mitcham, was using his father’s badge to park in the streets near his place of work in the Upper Tooting Road. As a result he was made to pay £1,530 on top of the £165 car pound charge.
The fraud team also collared another driver misusing a blue badge in the neighbouring borough of Richmond.
Investigators from the boroughs of Wandsworth, Richmond, Merton, Kingston and Sutton all work together in a partnership set up to combat fraud committed against the public purse across south west London.
In the Richmond case, Rampall Raj of Rosemary Avenue in Hounslow was fined and ordered to pay court costs totalling £933 after being caught using his mother’s badge to unlawfully park in Glamorgan Road, Hampton Wick, following a tip off from a member of the public.
Wandsworth’s transport spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “Sadly there are many people who try to fiddle the system in this way. The blue badge scheme exists to help disabled people get out and about, drive to work, visit friends or go shopping.
“It was not invented to give their relatives a passport to free parking nor allow selfish able-bodied people to use designated spaces genuinely needed by drivers who have a disability.”
Anyone who has information about drivers misusing a blue badge in any of the five boroughs can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (020) 8871 8383.
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