Police car cops ticket as parking enforcer lays down the law . .
THEY have ticketed everything from a hearse to the Scottish rugby team's bus in recent years.
And for one intrepid attendant it seems even the boys in blue aren't above the law when it comes to ruthlessly enforcing the city's parking restrictions.
Police say the vehicle, which is believed to have been driven by a female officer, was parked legally on a single yellow line outside the High Court on St Giles Street yesterday.
Council chiefs, however, are sticking by the attendant and claim he was right to issue the fine.
Onlookers watched as the attendant slapped the ticket on the squad car as it sat just feet from the court at around 11am yesterday.
One said: "The parking attendant seemed to be taking great delight in putting the ticket on the car. It was parked in a permit holders' bay on a single yellow line. But it's not like it was an unmarked car, it had the blue lights and everything.
"It must have been a complete waste of time for him to ticket it, but he was probably trying to keep his quota up for the day. We were watching the guy and he looked like he was really enjoying himself."
A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police confirmed that police vehicles were allowed to park on single yellow lines but declined to comment further.
The incident is the latest example of the city's traffic enforcers taking their civic duty perhaps a little too seriously, though one of the first since NCP took control of the contract.
Examples, under previous regimes, include a hearse being ticketed in 2003 – a fine which was upheld because the coffin was not in the vehicle at the time. Attendants have also ticketed an ambulance, a blood-transfusion vehicle and the Scottish rugby team bus.
Bruce Young, Lothian and Borders co-ordinator of the Association of British Drivers, said: "I think it's typical of their mentality," he said.
"They're under pressure to put tickets on cars, even if they know the tickets are going to be cancelled. There's a certain amount of enthusiasm on their part – it's what they think their bosses want."
But a council spokeswoman said the parking attendant had been within his rights to issue a ticket following an agreement reached between the local authority and the police in December.
He added: "In December, the police wrote to us saying we had their permission to ticket their cars on St Giles Street to prevent them blocking permit bays, single yellow lines and disabled bays.
"If they're giving evidence at the court, they're there for a long periods of time and they're obstructing the kind of turnover we would expect for parking bays."
A police spokesman said officers had the right to appeal if they felt the ticket was unwarranted.
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