Police chiefs today apologised after a Fylde coast officer was photographed parking in a disabled bay at a supermarket.
A motorist whose wife uses a mobility scooter was returning to his car in the disabled parking area when he spotted the police van parked in the next space at Asda on Bank Cop Lane, Fleetwood.
The man, who asked not to be named, said: “I couldn’t believe what we were seeing.
“It was parked right next to us.
“I just think it’s disgusting.
“It was 3pm in the afternoon so it was hardly busy.
“There were plenty of other spaces to park. I appreciate they have been on a 999 call but why didn’t they park in the pick-up point right in front of the store?”
Parking in a Blue Badge parking bay without displaying the correct badge can lead to fines of up to £1,000, but this only applies to on-street offences.
If a non-disabled motorist has parked in a bay reserved for people with disabilities in a private car park, for example a supermarket, an employee of the store can ask the driver to move their car from the reserved space - but they cannot legally insist on it.
A Lancashire Police spokeswoman said: “Police were responding to a report of a shoplifting offence and although the alleged offender had been detained by store security, it was not known to officers attending if he was being violent therefore the officer parked as close to the store entrance as possible to enable him to deal with the incident quickly.
“It is not routinely acceptable for police vehicles to park in disabled bays and the officer involved has been spoken to about the incident. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.”