Police and Haringey Council have launched a crack-down on bogus Blue Badge users dodging parking fees.

A spate of thefts has been reported by disabled drivers, whose cars have been broken into and their badges snatched.  

The council is now running an anti-fraud hotline phone number to report when badges are known to be used fraudulently or if anyone has been offered them for sale or rent.

The tip-offs are investigated by the authority and any fraud uncovered is being reported to police.

Counter-measures have also been introduced, with specific cars able to be registered at the town hall to avoid having to display Blue Badges in windscreens at the risk of vehicles being broken into in the street.

“Disabled people have told me of their anger when thieves break into their car and steal their Blue Badges,” Cllr Seema Chandwani said. “It takes away their independence until they have their car fixed and get a replacement badge.

“So we’re doing everything to reduce the number of badges being stolen and putting measures in place to stop Blue Badge misuse.”

The council believes Blue Badges are being sold or hired out on the black market to motorists to evade parking charges or to park on yellow lines in restricted areas.

It is running extra street patrols with police and using mobile technology-on-the-move to check windscreens on parked cars to see if the Blue Badge on display is stolen.

Chief Insp Jonathan Waterfield, from the Met’s Haringey Neighbourhoods police team, said: “We are working with the council to reduce motor vehicle crime and welcome this initiative.”

But the latest measure guaranteed to “beat the cheats” is the ‘paperless’ Blue Badge with the permit registered to a specific car so the owner doesn’t need to display a badge and risk it being stolen by heartless thieves.

The Blue Badge anti-fraud hotline is 020-8489 2102, with an alternative ‘eform’ on the “haringey.gov.uk” website.