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Sophie in a white poloneck jumper, text:Sophie Morgan loses Blue Badge to thief, image of a blue badge protector

Sophie Morgan Blue Badge Stolen

Sophie Morgan loses Blue Badge in Car Theft

TV presenter and disability rights advocate, Sophie Morgan, has expressed her frustration and anger after her Blue Badge was stolen from her car while she was away working in America earlier this month. The Loose Women star, who uses a wheelchair, described the inconvenience caused by the theft as “beyond measure”.

A Blue Badge is a permit issued by local councils in the UK to those with disabilities, allowing them to park for free or for longer periods of time, as well as granting access to designated disabled parking bays, which are often closer to destinations. The badge is displayed on the dashboard of the car and serves as proof of the holder’s disability.

Sophie Morgan explained that the loss of her Blue Badge has severely impacted her ability to travel independently. “I can’t drive my car without my badge as I can’t get in or out [of the vehicle] without space to get my wheelchair beside my car,” she said. “And without the guarantee of a disabled space, it’s not worth the risk.”

The theft of the badge has left Morgan feeling frustrated and angry at the injustice of the situation. “I had this rage in me at the injustice, all the frustration, the inconvenience, all of those feelings,” she told the BBC’s disability podcast, Access All.

The incident has been reported to the local council, but Morgan now faces a wait of several weeks for a replacement badge to be issued, leaving her without the freedom of movement that the badge provides in the meantime.

This theft highlights the vulnerability of disabled people and the importance of the Blue Badge scheme in enabling them to access services and participate fully in society. Losing a Blue Badge can cause significant stress and anxiety, leaving individuals feeling isolated and trapped.

The theft of Blue Badges is not an isolated incident. In fact, according to a recent report by the BBC, thefts of Blue Badges rose by 45% in the year to March 2020, with over 7,000 badges stolen in England alone.

It is essential that local councils and law enforcement agencies take a proactive approach to tackling this issue and ensure that Blue Badge holders are not left without access to essential services and facilities.

Blue Badge holders can take some measures to deter thefts and protect their badges. Blue Badge protectors are available that lock the badges into a rigid protector sleeve.  They are attached by a sturdy lock to the steering wheel. This creates a visible deterrent and can save the mess, distress and expense of a break-in. These protectors can provide an added layer of security and peace of mind for badge holders, knowing that their badge is less likely to be targeted by thieves. It is essential that we continue to promote the use of these protectors and other preventative measures to safeguard the rights and independence of disabled people.

In the case of Sophie Morgan, her loss serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle faced by many disabled people in their day-to-day lives. It is crucial that we continue to raise awareness of the challenges faced by disabled people and work towards creating a more inclusive and accessible society for all.

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