A crackdown on the misuse of parking permits intended for disabled people led to 37 prosecutions during 2019-20.

A series of operations across the borough helped Barnet Council’s anti-fraud team nab the offenders and recover more than £24,500 worth of costs.

Blue badges allow disabled people to park closer to their destinations, often in designated bays.

But cases prosecuted by the anti-fraud team revealed people using deceased relatives’ blue badges, stolen badges and expired badges.

The corporate anti-fraud team’s annual report reveals one offender was fined £270 and told to pay costs of £1,265 after using their deceased relative’s badge – which they had even applied to renew after the holder passed away.

Another offender was fined £440 and told to pay more than £730 in costs after using a child’s badge while the child was at school on two separate occasions.

The team carried out 347 investigations in total, with a further 74 cases resulting in a formal caution and warning letters sent out in 94 cases to the badge holders and offenders.

A separate team of officers investigated 496 cases of alleged tenancy fraud in 2019-20. They were responsible for recovering 34 properties and preventing 27 Right to Buy applications from people who were not eligible to purchase under the scheme.

They also stopped five new housing applications that were submitted by people who were not eligible to be housed.

At a meeting of the audit committee on Tuesday (July 14), Cllr Peter Zinkin (Conservative, Childs Hill) commented: “The team is to be congratulated on a very broad spectrum of activity, most of which has produced real, tangible benefits for the council and for residents. Thank you very much indeed.”