I am sorry that Mr West felt the need to write to your paper about this matter (‘Police parking was incredulous’, Spalding Guardian, July 10), as a simple visit to the police station could have provided an explanation.
Firstly, it might be helpful to clarify the law in relation to this matter. There is no automatic restriction on parking on the school ‘Keep Clear’ yellow zig-zag marking outside Woolram Wygate school.
A restriction on parking on such a marking must be accompanied by an appropriate traffic order issued by the council, and must have signs indicating the hours of restriction (this should not be confused with white zig-zag markings near zebra crossings where it is always an offence to park on those).
If you park on a school ‘Keep Clear’ that has no associated signing, then there is a possibility of committing an offence of unnecessary obstruction, particularly during school dropping off and collection
I have looked into the particular parking incident that prompted Mr West’s letter to you. Two of my emergency response team visited the
school to support their PCSO colleagues who were at the fete.
I encourage my emergency response officers to take every opportunity to support the neighbourhood policing teams. The officers attempted to park on the school grounds but were advised not to by school staff , who directed them to the road side.
If the police car had remained in the car park, the police car would have blocked any emergency exit by the Fire and Rescue team who were parked on the field, but were also on emergency call-out.
The police car was therefore parked legally on the road, some distance from the entrance but close enough for an emergency response.
It is important that the officers have quick access to their police vehicle and indeed, shortly after they arrived, they were deployed to an urgent incident and ran from the scene to their nearby police vehicle.
My officers are not above the law and, except in emergency situations when time is of the essence, I expect the highest standard of parking from them.
Community Policing Inspector