Police van parks in disabled space at supermarket

PARKED UP The police van in a disabled bay at Asda in Bedhampton
PARKED UP The police van in a disabled bay at Asda in Bedhampton

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IT’S one of the biggest car parks for miles around with hundreds of spaces.

So police caused a bit of a stir when they were snapped parking in a disabled space at the Asda superstore in Bedhampton.

The police van was photographed in a disabled space on Monday.

Lorraine Hunt, who is a wheelchair user and parks in the disabled spaces, was angry after seeing the police van park up and an officer walk into the store.

The picture attracted mixed views yesterday on social networking site Facebook.

Mrs Hunt said: ‘I was at Asda and one (a police van) was parked up, yet the pick-up point was empty.

‘There was no need for them to take up the much-needed space.

‘They also took up the extra access space so the person parked next to them would have struggled to get back in their car.’

Mrs Hunt added: ‘I’m confined to a wheelchair and often cannot park there. I also know of someone who was fined £75 despite having a blue badge.’

But some Facebook posters did not agree police should be criticised for parking in a disabled bay.

David Jones said: ‘It is not illegal to park there. The land is privately owned so it would be a civil offence to park there. Not a crime.

‘How about stop being so petty and nit-picking police on something so minor as parking.’

Hampshire Constabulary confirmed their officers were on a call-out.

A statement said: ‘We can confirm that we were called to attend a shoplifting incident at the Asda store just before 4pm on Monday. A man had been seen stealing items and made off.

‘A unit in a police van attended this incident as a matter of urgency because it was reported the offender was still on scene. A 28-year-old man from Havant was arrested and later charged with theft from a shop.’

A spokeswoman added: ‘We believe the vehicle parked in the disabled bay was attending this incident.

‘When responding to incidents of an urgent nature we may, on occasion, have a need to contravene local parking regulations or regulations imposed on private land. We apologise if the way this vehicle was parked caused inconvenience to shoppers using the Asda car park.’

Marley Rubin Junior Cook, 28, of St Alban’s Road, Havant, is due to appear at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court on September 25 charged with the theft.