Red card for blue badge abusers as net closes in

Blue badge abusers in Moray running an even greater risk of penalties
Blue badge abusers in Moray running an even greater risk of penalties

AN AGREEMENT REACHED between Police Scotland and all 32 Scottish local authorities could spell trouble for people who ritually abuse the Blue Badge disabled parking system.

Police Scotland revealed on Monday that with immediate effect those who misuse the system for disabled parking permits are running a greater risk than ever before.

That is because local police officers will now have access to the council-operated ‘Blue Badge Improvement Service’ database – allowing them to immediately identify if a parking permit has been legally obtained.

Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick said: “The Blue Badge scheme is an important resource for people who really need it. Those who abuse the scheme make life harder for people who need to have access to places such as medical centres and social facilities.

“Abuse of the scheme can be as simple as a driver using a disabled relative’s badge contrary to its conditions or failing to return a badge when the user no longer needs it.

“It is important that people realise not only are they making life harder for others, but they may also be committing fraud, if they use a Blue Badge to obtain free parking to which they are not entitled.

“Working in partnership with local authorities across the country, our officers will now be able to verify instantly any Blue Badge issued anywhere in Scotland. This means that we will be able to tackle those people who selfishly, and sometimes fraudulently, abuse the Blue Badge scheme.”

The Scottish Government minister for transport, Derek Mackay, added: “This is a fantastic tool that will help local authorities in their bid to tackle abuse of the Blue Badge scheme.

“Misuse of the scheme can have a significant impact on the lives of badge holders throughout Scotland that is why I am pleased Police Scotland is working collaboratively with local authorities to send a clear message that abuse of the scheme will not be tolerated.”