BASINGSTOKE police have defended their use of a disabled parking bay in the town centre.

Criticism was levelled at the force after a police car was photographed in a disabled bay at Jacob’s Yard, at 4.20pm on Thursday August 6.

The car was using the disabled space despite the fact that normal parking bays were available just metres away.

Inspector Olga Venner, of Basingstoke police station, said the two officers involved were seizing a nearby motorbike that was not insured.

The inspector said: “Police officers are well aware of the need to park responsibly when dealing with incidents and crimes.

“In this instance, the vehicle had pulled into the bay whilst arranging recovery of an uninsured vehicle as part of our commitment to remove such vehicles and drivers from our roads.

“The police car was not left unattended at any time and could have moved if the bay was needed by a member of the public.”

Borough councillor Jane Frankum, who is disabled, said: “It infuriates me when I see people who are perfectly fit and healthy parking in disabled spaces.

“You would hope that if a police officer saw someone who wasn’t disabled parking there, they would do something about it, so you expect the same rules to apply to them.

“I understand that if it was an emergency they would need the spot, but this wasn’t an emergency and there were regular spaces that they could have used just a few feet away.”