DRIVERS on the school run who park illegally will face on-the-spot fines from Police Community Support Officers.

The new powers being handed to the PCSOs are part of a concerted effort to tackle the growing issue of congestion outside schools and disruption to traffic.

The problem of crowded highways is exacerbated by parents who park on double yellow lines or restricted zig-zag zones, as well as blocking residents’ drives.

Previously this power to issue fines has been the responsibility of council enforcement officers.

The county’s force are also looking to recruit an extra 300 voluntary PCSOs in addition to the existing 200-plus paid support officers.

The new schools scheme is currently being reviewed for legal requirements before being implemented before the end of the year.

Kent Police’s Chief Inspector Andy Gadd said: “PCSOs are highly regarded by Kent Police for their important role in delivering neighbourhood policing.

“These officers are responsible for using their powers to deal with anti-social behaviour, alcohol and licensing offences, and traffic management.”

He added: “Kent Police has agreed further powers for PCSOs which include issuing Fixed Penalty Notices for parking in restricted areas outside schools.

“This power will use Local Authority Legislation to enable PCSOs to issue fines that are only normally given by Local Authority Civil Enforcement Officers.

“As with all new powers, officers will follow a training plan to ensure they understand this new role and to prepare them for their duties.”