Police officers have been criticised after a car was spotted parked in a disabled space in Dundee’s city centre.
Broughty Ferry plumber Dean Fern, 28, was in Crichton Street on Friday when he spotted the car occupying the disabled bay at the top of the road.
He hit out at the move, claiming officers had “robbed” a disabled driver of the chance to use the space.
Police Scotland said it had been responding to reports of a suspected shoplifter at nearby Primark, and insisted officers had to park as close as possible to the location when making an arrest.
Dean told the Tele: “I thought they were robbing someone with a genuine disability of easy access.
“I think that it looks bad on the police in the city. It is a shameful stain on the good name of the police in Dundee.
“They’re not supposed to be inconveniencing the law-abiding public.
“If it is legal for them to park anywhere, I’d hope it was an emergency situation where they didn’t have a choice in the matter.
“Why could they have not parked their car two metres forward or back on the double yellow lines and free up that bay for someone who really needs it?”
John Mitchell, chairman of the 5 Digits Disability Issues Group, said that one of the “biggest bug bears” the organisation has is people restricting access by parking in disabled spaces.
He added: “Why couldn’t the police have parked on the pavement outside the shop with the lights on?”
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Officers were responding to reports of shoplifting from Primark in the Overgate Centre and, as a result, a 35-year-old woman has been reported.
“When responding to incidents, and particularly when people are being taken into custody, police officers will need to park as close as possible to the location of the incident.
“It is never our intention to inconvenience disabled drivers and efforts are made to avoid this when possible.”
David Hamilton, chairman of the North Area Committee of the Scottish Police Federation, said: “The first thing that people think when they see a police unit parked in a disabled bay is that it has been done through laziness.
“But they don’t want to be parading someone who has been arrested through the town and they could have sound operational reasons for doing so.”