Officers from Halesworth Police have responded via social media after a note was left on their vehicle as they dealt with an emergency, or ‘A’, grade call. ‘A’ grade calls are generated by police control room staff after members of the public dial 999 for urgent police help and assistance.
A handwritten note that was left on the driver’s window of the marked patrol vehicle said: ‘No parking means no parking you are not exempt just ignorant’.
The note was left yesterday evening at around 23:00 hours in Leiston as the officers dealt with a ‘concern for welfare’ call which is often a call made to the police by a concerned relative of a loved one who has not been seen for some time.
Responding to the note, a spokesperson for Halesworth Police published the following post on the Halesworth Police Facebook page:
‘The details provided made the call extremely serious, and the Officers made their way to the address with blue lights.
‘On arrival, the marked police car had to be parked on double yellow lines as the closest location to the address, PC Simmons making sure no other vehicles were obstructed.
‘The officers found that the individual they had been called to needed medical attention, so they provided care & support until Paramedics arrived.
‘On returning to their marked car, they found a handwritten notice attached to the drivers’ window complaining about the car being parked on double yellow lines.
‘Drivers of any emergency vehicle do not & cannot park in restricted areas unless attending an emergency.
‘The 2002 Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions state that emergency vehicles can park in restricted areas – containing, for instance, single or double yellow lines, only when they’re used for specific “police, fire brigade or ambulance purposes”.
‘The Department for Transport says this means that “any vehicle being used for emergency purposes” is exempt from parking fines.
‘Routine, non-emergency calls are not included in this exemption.
‘Please be mindful that, under such circumstances, emergency service vehicles may be parked inconveniently by necessity, as the nearest location to an address. The patience and understanding of the public is always appreciated under such circumstances’.
Social media users were quick to offer their support to the officers. One person wrote:
‘How rude! I’d rather any emergency vehicle park there when they are answering an emergency call than worry if they inconveniencing anyone who self appoints themselves as road police. Think how you would react if it was you who needed their assistance. Thank you to all emergency service personnel’.
Whilst another added:
‘Well whoever wrote that note need speaking to. Any vehicle ambulance, police or fire should not be questioned. They are there doing a job. !!!be mindful of that before a note is left. It might be for you next time. I’m keeping this note very civil and ladylike, but not in my mind’.