Police criticised for parking in a Kingston disabled bay
Police have been criticised for parking a patrol car in a disabled bay.
The marked car was parked in a space reserved for disabled blue badge holders in High Street, Kingston, between 1pm and 2pm on October 4.
Wheelchair user and campaigner Ann Macfarlane said there was no excuse for police to park illegally and think they were above the law.
She said: “There really is no excuse even if it was a real emergency.
“The police have authority over everybody. They have the policies and practices that enforce the law and they should lead by example.”
Disability campaigner Jane Young, from New Malden, said it was a terrible example set by those who should know better.
She said: “I just think if police park in disabled bays that is giving a very strange message to everyone else when we are trying to prevent abuse.
“It is the most unhelpful thing they can do in terms of supporting the message.
“It is really not a good example to set to anyone else if police do that.”
Kingston police said the car should not have been parked in the bay and the matter was being investigated, with the officer responsible to be sanctioned.
The police station does not have dedicated parking due to a redevelopment of its custody cells.
They have been allowed to park marked cars in the bus stand directly outside the station so they can respond quickly to emergency situations, but this does not extend to the disabled bay.
Mrs Macfarlane said it was common to find people flouting the law by parking in disabled bays.
She said: “It is wrong because it is there for a reason – the blue badge scheme.”
Parking in a designated disabled bay without a blue badge on display can land drivers with a fine of up to £110.
A spokesman from Kingston Council said in emergency situations police, fire and ambulance services would be exempt from fines.