A POLICE officer has apologised for parking in a disabled parking space at a supermarket at the weekend.
The male officer, who parked in the yellow marked bay at Asda Walmart on Saturday, has been given formal advice by officials at Wiltshire Police after a photograph of the car made it into the Adver.
Temporary Chief Inspector Roger Bull said the officer involved was sorry for using the space.
“The officer concerned has been spoken to and given suitable words of advice,” he said. “He is embarrassed and very apologetic for his actions.” Inspector Bull said no further action would be taken as the incident did not reach the disciplinary threshold for formal action.
The police officer was called to the scene at about 3.20pm on Saturday to deal with a report of theft from the store.
“Police officers should always park safely and lawfully,” said Inspector Bull.
“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, only when there are no other safe options available.”
A reader, who did not want to be named, sent the photograph to the Adver after she spotted the illegally parked car.
She said she had seen a disabled woman struggling to get into her car in a regular parking space.
More than 40 comments have been left on the Adver website about the issue.
Ricky1 said: “Drivers need to be aware that it is an offence to park in a disabled space without a blue badge and the person who is on the badge photo being in the car. “It is not an offence to use parent and child spaces but you can also get billed for using one in a private carp ark.
“At weekends the blue badge spaces in Asda are often fully occupied. “The police were breaking the law by parking here.”
David Plotkin, the manager of Swindon Living Options, a service run by disability charity Scope, asked people to avoid parking in disabled bays and to leave them available for disabled people who genuinely need them.