A POLICE officer has been caught parking in a disabled space at a supermarket.
The bobby, who was responding to an incident after a call from the store, parked in the yellow bay at Asda Walmart in North Swindon on Saturday afternoon.
The Adver was sent this photograph by a reader, who said she had seen a wheelchair user struggling to get into her vehicle in a regular parking space on the car park.
Officials at Wiltshire Police are set to speak to the officer today to find out why they parked there.
Temporary Chief Inspector Roger Bull said: “Police officers should always park safely and lawfully.
“They should not occupy spaces designated for people with disabilities.
“The only exception would be when an officer is responding to an emergency, such as a crime in progress or reports of a violent person, and even then when there are no other safe options available.
“We believe that we have now identified the officer who booked out this vehicle. The officer concerned is not on duty, but will be spoken to on their return to duty tomorrow.”
A reader sent the photograph to the Adver after she spotted the illegally parked car at about 3.20pm The reader who sent the photograph, and who did not want to be named, said she was disgusted to see a police officer using the space.
She said: “I double checked and he clearly didn't have a blue badge.
“I am just wondering why they should get away with this when I saw a lady in a wheelchair clearly struggling to get into her car in a regular space. Also my passenger required a space and holds a blue badge. I am very disgusted and hope they may think again before parking in a spot where other car drivers would no doubt get a ticket.”
A spokesman for Asda said the police were responding to a call from the store regarding a petrol dispute, but as it was a police matter he could not comment further.
David Plotkin, manager of Swindon Living Options, a local service run by disability charity Scope that supports disabled people, said he was sorry to hear the police were using the space, but hoped there was a good reason.
“It is disappointing but we are confident that the police wouldn’t have chosen the space unless there was a very good reason for doing so,” he said.
“Our work with disabled people means we know that for many people with mobility, visual and other impairments, the convenience of a designated parking bay can make a huge difference in enabling them to use local amenities.
“We’d encourage people to avoid parking in disabled bays and leaving them available for disabled people who genuinely need them.”