Police and local authorities in Scotland have agreed to share information in order to crack down on the misuse of disabled parking permits.
The agreement with all 32 local authorities means police officers will be able to gain instant access to the blue badge database to identify people who are abusing the scheme.
‘The blue badge scheme is an important resource for people who really need it,’ said deputy chief constable Rose Fitzpatrick. ‘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.
She added: ‘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.’
Councillor Stephen Hagan, from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla), said: ‘Cosla members welcome the ability for local authorities to better enforce the use of blue badges and to quickly address situations where badges are being misused through this agreement.
‘Members agreed that the enforcement proposal was good common sense and is part of Scottish local government’s commitment to supporting the rights of people with disabilities in Scotland.’