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Council / Thirty blue badges cancelled as part of fraud checks

AROUND 30 ‘blue badges’ have been cancelled in Shetland as part of fraud checks by auditors.

A meeting of Shetland Islands Council’s audit committee heard on Tuesday that this resulted in around £20,000 of “estimated fraud” being prevented.

This is despite a blue badge, which helps people with disabilities or health conditions park closer to their destination, costing up to £20 in Scotland.

Speaking after the meeting, Duncan Black of internal auditor Audit Glasgow clarified that the figure of £20,150 was devised from a “standard calculation to provide an indicative estimate of the potential value of loss to the public purse in income”.

“This is mainly to reflect the potential fraudulent use of the badge as opposed to paying for parking, recognising the badge could be taken with the fraudster to the mainland and used in areas where there is more widespread charging for parking,” he added.

The only car parks in Shetland which require a fee is at Sumburgh Airport and Victoria Pier in Lerwick.

Tuesday’s meeting heard that in one instance a person who was no longer alive still had a blue badge.

A report to councillors said 31 blue badges had been cancelled through the checks.

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