Police plan crackdown on motorists misusing disabled parking badges
A national database will be used to allow officers to immediately identify offenders.
Police plan to crack down on the misuse of disabled parking badges using a national database.
Officers will be able to immediately identify people who misuse blue badge after an agreement was reached with local authorities to access the Blue Badge Improvement Service database.
The Scottish Government said misuse of the parking badges has a "significant impact on the lives of badge holders". Last year, councils were given more powers to deal with abuse of the blue badges, making it an offence to use a badge which should have been cancelled or returned.
Police said extending access to the database will allow better enforcement and support of local authorities.
Deputy chief constable Rose Fitzpatrick said: "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."
Transport minister Derek Mackay said: "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."