Police officer disciplined over parking 'gaffe'

POLICE bosses have vowed to discipline the driver of this patrol car after it was snapped parked illegally on the edge of a disabled space.

South Yorkshire Police was forced to apologise after the marked vehicle was spotted and photographed by motorist Ian Tootill at the Asda store in Dalton.

Ian followed the car into the supermarket car park last Sunday and watched it pull up illegally alongside the disabled space, before two officers climbed out of the marked car and “sauntered” into the store.         

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A horrified Ian, who took this photo on his mobile phone while he waited for his partner to return from shopping, said that the female driver and her male colleague had returned and driven away 15 minutes later.

Ian said that he was especially surprised to see the car parked illegally because Asda had begun last year to hand out £70 fines to people misusing disabled or mother-and-child spaces or otherwise flouting the rules.

But he added: “I don’t suppose they will give a ticket to a police car.

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“I understand that they can park on double yellow lines on a 999 call but not when they are on a non-emergency call.

“I don’t know whether they went into Asda on a police matter or not but it doesn’t matter, they should know better. There were plenty of empty spaces that they could have used.”

Ian pointed out that by leaving the car where they had, the female driver and her male officer had potentially made it difficult for a disabled driver to get in and out of their vehicle.

“I have sent the photo on to the police and pointed out that they are not setting a very good example to the general public,” he added.

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The latest controversial parking incident came six months after Yorkshire Ambulance Service faced uncomfortable questions over an ambulance left on double yellow lines.

Advertiser reader Andrew Haigh snapped mobile phone pictures of the vehicle  opposite the Dale Road Chip Shop in Rawmarsh and made a formal complaint to ambulance bosses.

A police spokeswoman said of this week’s incident: “An officer parked the car while visiting the store.

“There is no excuse for parking the vehicle in this manner and the officer responsible will face disciplinary procedures.

“We would like to apologise for any offence or inconvenience this incident may have caused.”