Police Scotland will have direct access to disabled parking badge database
Safeguards? Pff, what an old-fashioned notion
Police Scotland has been given direct access to Scottish councils' databases of disabled parking badge holders in order to crack down on fraudsters misusing them.
An agreement was reached between the single Scottish police force, Police Scotland, and the country's 32 local authorities to allow the police direct access to the Blue Badge holder database.
The agreement followed the 2014 passage of a bill in the Scottish Parliament regarding Disabled Persons' Parking Badges. The legislation allowed councils to confiscate or cancel disabled badges if they were misused, and made misuse a criminal offence.
Police Scotland was unable to provide The Register with any figures on how much of an problem this had been beforehand. An announcement made at the same time as the new law was published, however, said the misuse was having a "major impact" on those who relied on the specialist parking spaces.
Information about the Blue Badges' legitimacy had always been available to the police, but they previously had to request information from councils rather than accessing the database directly.
Police Scotland's Deputy Chief Constable, Rose Fitzpatrick, said: "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 that it was "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." ®