Eleven people were taken to court during a crackdown on misuse of blue badges for disabled people across Norfolk - while dozens more were sent warnings about abuse.

People prosecuted had to pay more than £7,000 to Norfolk County Council, as enforcement action was stepped up.

Across Norfolk, 35,000 valid blue badges are held, entitling the holder to park on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours in vehicles they drive or travel in.

Eastern Daily Press: Enforcement officers have cracked down on blue badge misuse in NorfolkEnforcement officers have cracked down on blue badge misuse in Norfolk

But there were 97 reports of blue badge misuse in 2022/23, down slightly on 103 the previous year.

County Hall employs an enforcement officer who goes undercover on patrols, which helped lead to 11 people being taken to court for misuse of the badges in five separate cases.

In addition, 35 verbal or written warnings were issued, while there were 51 cases where no further action could be taken for various reasons, such as the council not having jurisdiction because the vehicle was on private land.

Following a period of warnings and education, the council this year stepped up enforcement action against blue badge holders who remain in vehicles, while another person gains advantage of the concession.

That led to the first conviction of a person who had a valid blue badge, but who stayed in their car on a yellow line in King's Lynn while the driver went shopping, which is against the rules.

Both the person in the car and the driver were ordered by magistrates in King's Lynn to pay £222 each in fines, costs and surcharges.

Eastern Daily Press: Graham Plant, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructureGraham Plant, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructure

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Graham Plant, the Conservative-controlled council's cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, who also chairs the Norfolk Parking Partnership joint committee, welcomed the action.

He said: "The blue badge officer is clearly worth his weight. It is not fair cheating on something when it is put there as a benefit for somebody."

Daniel Candon, Great Yarmouth borough councillor, said: "It gives out a strong message to the community that the misuse of blue badges will not be tolerated."