Police in Londonderry have apologised after a patient took a picture of a PSNI car parked in a disabled bay outside Altnagelvin Hospital.
The picture was taken on New Year’s Day and it is alleged the car remained in the space for in excess of two hours.
The photograph was posted on the Facebook page ‘Name’N’Shame Disabled Parking Bay Abusers’.
The man who supplied the picture told the Derry Journal that the picture had been taken on New Year’s Day by friends of his – one of whom uses a wheelchair and who had been attending A&E.
He said his friend was forced to park further away in the public car park and then in the rain had to make his way to the hospital.
“I could understand if the police were there for an emergency,” he said.
“But the car was there for two hours. Maybe it is time that the hospital thought about giving the police their own space, considering they have to attend the hospital so much.
“Two hours is a long time to be in a space and for a man in a wheelchair, having to be wheeled, he can get cold quickly.”
Last night a police spokesman apologised if any inconvenience was caused on this occasion and said that police officers are instructed not to park in disabled bays while on any routine business.
“If, though, an emergency situation arises that needs urgent attention, we hope people will understand that it may sometimes be necessary to use the nearest available parking facility,” he added.
“In relation to this particular incident, on the morning of New Year’s Day, police were alerted by a member of the public to a vulnerable and distressed man in the city centre.
“Officers picked him up and took him to Altnagelvin for medical assessment and remained with him until a family member arrived and could be with him.”