Get out of ‘jail’ card

In the Nottingham Post on Saturday was a story which I couldn’t pass on. It is the story of an everyday Police Officer (well a PCSO) who parked their van to respond to an ‘enquiry’ but then went shopping.


This was all fine except that the Police van was left on double yellow lines…

I quote the Police’s response from the Post,

“A police vehicle, being used by the local Safer Neighbourhood Team, was legitimately parked on double yellow lines while two Police Community Support Officers made inquiries in relation to a missing person. The vehicle was not causing any obstruction, however, after completing their inquiries the officers briefly attended a nearby shop to purchase some items before returning to the van. This was a momentary lapse of judgement for which the officers have received advice.”

It seems to me that there are two alternatives here.

Firstly the Officers are fined just like you and I would be. Its £70 – reduced to £35 if paid within 14 days.

Alternatively, we are all permitted a little indiscretion from time to time – making sure we don’t cause an obstruction, having a momentary lapse of judgement (something I am sure won’t be lost on our traffic wardens) and then we accept ‘advice’ (like a slap on the legs).

I favour the first option as I think the probability of us getting away with the second one are slim…

3 comments on “Get out of ‘jail’ card

  1. I pursued a GMP officer who did the same in Manc. He parked his vehicle on the pavement/double yellows and went into the Bank.

    I went in too. Observed. Approached him in the queue and asked why he was there. ‘Making enquiries’ he lied, posturing with importance whilst fiddling with his walky talky, as he stood there waiting his turn. I apologised politely and stood back.

    Guilt took over and he left. I watched the vehicle depart and took its number.

    I complained by phone. His superior asked if I wanted to take the matter formal. I said no – given I have a poor experience of that. I asked that she talk to him like any errant lad – and ask him to call me and apologise. He did so. Well he tried to justify, but still claimed he had been ‘making enquiries’ and doing some personal stuff. I said I was going to put the phone down and he should call again when he’d worked out the truth. His boss called back again to say he was ‘shitting bricks now’. He called back again and was honest on the third try. There had been no police business at all. Matter closed.

    It appears that we are getting at the police. No. They have a hugely difficult job; and I respect them hugely. But – the behaviour of certain officers means that it diminishes trust from the community at large. If any Police service loses that trust and support, we are on a dangerous path. These isolated instances must come as a real disappointment to the remainder of officers.

    • And of course the easiest and simplest way to have buried the whole matter would have been to fine the individual here… Instead, as you say, this taints the whole system. The Police do have a tough job, but that means that they too have to behave impeccably – at all times. Or it looks like, as Nick says, one rule for us, one for them.


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