TRAFFIC wardens will be cracking down on motorists who misuse disabled parking badges.

From next week Durham County Council enforcement officers will be targeting people who abuse the Blue Badge Scheme, which allows disabled drivers to park closer to shops and amenities.

Officers will be checking that badges are real and being used by the badge holder to help make sure drivers with genuine disabilities can access the parking spaces they need.

Misuse and abuse of a blue badge is a criminal offence, which can lead to a fine of up to £1,000.

Neil Foster, cabinet member for economic regeneration at Durham County Council, said: “By targeting those who misuse disabled parking badges we are making sure that there will be plenty of parking spaces for people who really need them.”

Residents are being urged to report people fraudulently using blue badges by calling 08000 321 663 or by texting Fraud, followed by the details, to 07786-027280.