Seven cars were impounded during a third police operation with Tower Hamlets Council hunting down blue badges stolen from disabled motorists.

Officers checked more than 100 badges displayed in windscreens and found 12 were stolen — two were even being used after the legitimate holders had died.

“Using blue badges illegally is not a ‘victimless’ crime,” Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman said. “They are symbols of independence for disabled people.”

The town hall’s fraud investigation office is interviewing motorists found to be misusing the badges.

This follows two previous operations to stop blue badges being used fraudulently in March and last November when 130 cars were checked and 13 impounded. More operations are planned later in the year.

Blue badges allow the disabled or those with health conditions to park closer to their destination.

But the council fears they are being stolen to sell on the black market or be used to dodge street parking charges.