Here is a police van in a disabled bay

This chap on Twitter, just a few minutes ago, was asked by a Surrey police officer to delete this photo of her van blocking a disabled bay.

He didn’t do it, so now he’s sharing this photo with the world.

Perhaps you might like to share the photo on the social networks of your choice, or on your own blog. Let’s remind the police who they work for. Us.

(11.30PM UPDATE – Snapper Terence Eden writes on his blog: “I want to make it quite clear that I have no reason to disbelieve PC Smith when she said that she was attending a genuine call. I’m not going to pursue the parking in a disabled bay matter any further. I am going to pursue the matter of the advice my local police force are given regarding the photography of them and their vehicles.”)


  1. Exit, Pursued by a Bear

    Rather than being a smartarse and sending the picture to all and sundry, she should have just printed it out and sent it with a letter of complaint to the Chief Constable of whatever constabulary it was, as this might have had the desired effect. Out in cyberspace, it achieves nothing.

  2. darryl853

    It gave you a chance to comment, though. As far as we know the photographer (a male) might be sending his image to the constabulary anyway. How do you know he isn’t?

    And when even the Daily Mail gets on its high horse about police officers taking the mickey, perhaps acting the smartarse might have some value.

  3. Surrey Police

    The officer was responding to an emergency that had been resolved before your conversation, so the van was necessarily parked in a disabled bay. But, as you clearly state, this is not the real issue here. The officer was not justified in asking you to delete the photo and it’s right for you to draw attention to this.

    Interacting with private photographers or the media is not something police officers do on a regular basis, which means mistakes are sometimes made. In this case, the officer was quite new to the force and had not come across such a situation before. That said, you are not the first person to raise this and it is something Surrey Police has already started addressing.

    We provide media awareness training to most front-line officers. In the future these sessions will make clearer the wide rights photographers have to record police activity, provided cordons are not crossed. We will also soon be distributing a short booklet of media advice, which includes information on photographers’ rights.

    Thank-you for responding politely and explaining you objections logically to the officer. We would advise others who find themselves in a similar situation to do the same. It’s also good to note that the situation was resolved using common-sense after discussion with the supervisor.

    Surrey Police