No-one is exempt from parking fines, even police officers! This was the case for a Kent police officer who was issued a parking fine in Maidstone recently. The officer parked a squad car in the Week Street pay-and-display car park in Maidstone but failed to purchase a ticket. Consequently, he was issued a parking ticket and an image of the squad car was uploaded to the “Spotted in Maidstone” Facebook page.
As matters stand, Kent Police are in the process of appealing the ticket. A spokesman from Kent Police stated how;
“Kent Police was called at just before 9.10am on Saturday 26 July to a report of shoplifting in progress in Week Street, Maidstone…Officers attending the call parked in the safest and most appropriate place at a local authority car park in Palace Avenue…The officers assisted in the arrest of two men on suspicion of shoplifting…Kent Police is in the process of appealing the parking ticket with the local authority”.
Subsequently, this announcement reveals that the on-duty officer who received the parking fine was actually attending a report of shoplifting at the time the ticket was issued. Due to the fact that the police officer did not have the time to pay the parking fee before apprehending the criminal, Kent Police believe that the officer should be exempt from paying the parking fine.
In response to this announcement by Kent Police, a spokesman from Maidstone Borough Council commented that;
“If parked dealing with a recorded emergency, the appeals process allows the notice to be cancelled due to the mitigating circumstances presented as part of the process…Parking regulations are applied to all vehicles observed as parked illegally…This includes police vehicles, however if parked dealing with a recorded emergency, the appeals process allows the notice to be cancelled due to the mitigating circumstances presented as part of the process”.
Nevertheless, as matters stand, the officer has been issued a £50 parking fine on Saturday morning and has been given the option of a reduced fine of £25 if the parking ticket is paid within 14 days. The officer would have had to pay £2 for up to 3 hours or £3 for up to 4 hours in order to park the squad car in the parking space in question.
Despite the complications surrounding the incident, an image of the squad car in question has attracted the amusement of many social media users. Many members of the public commented on the picture of the fined squad car when it was uploaded to the “Spotted in Maidstone” Facebook page. For instance, James Beale, 28, the man who actually took the picture, commented how;
“I had to laugh when I took this picture, fantastic!!!”
Emma Farley also commented on the photo and highlighted how;
“Let’s face it, they are not going to have to pay it!”