Disabled man criticises police officers who parked in disabled space - claiming it left him in "real struggle"
A disabled man has criticised police officers who parked in a disabled space - claiming it left him in a "real struggle". Michael, who doesn't want his surname used, says it was upsetting to find a police van parked in a disabled bay outside of Bradford City Hall earlier this month. The 55-year-old claims he was forced to park further away than usual and struggled to reach his final destination. West Yorkshire Police said it was "operationally necessary" to use the space due to a football match that day. But Michael says that doesn't wash with him. And he said the ordeal - which he caught on video - left him feeling like disabled people don't matter. Michael, who has a blue badge, said: "It made me so angry because they just don’t care about the needs of disabled people. It's not good at all. "It’s just discrimination and we’re being ignored,. "They just don't take disabled parking spaces seriously. The football is not a reasonable excuse. "I'd totally get it if there had been an emergency like a terrorist attack or road accident, which are both unexpected. "But they know when the football is happening so have time to plan. "It's an abuse of the disabled bay, and I had to park further away which was a real struggle for me." Michael visited Bradford on Saturday, March 18. Michael said he had hoped to park in a disabled space but, as video shows, it was occupied by a police van. He added that he often encounters difficulties with people parking in disabled spots at the supermarket. But he believes the police should be more aware of their actions. Michael said: "It's very frustrating and makes you feel like you don't matter. "But it's more understandable from the general public than the police." A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police said: “Officers using the police vehicle were responding to demand related to a football match. “Other available parking options were considered prior to it being deemed operationally necessary to park at that location. “The vehicle was moved to a designated Police parking bay as soon as it was possible to do so.” A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “Council Wardens would not ask a police vehicle to move, if they had arranged with us in advance to park in a particular location, on police business. "They could also be dealing with an emergency. “We cannot guarantee a space outside City Hall, even if the police van had not been parked there, as this is a well-used location for Blue Badge holders. "But, there are lots of other places they can park, such as pay and display bays and yellow line restrictions if their time clock is displayed''.