POLICE chiefs said an officer had a genuine reason for parking in a disabled bay after telling a Blue Badge holder to "mind your business".

Naomi Howell had challenged the officer after he parked in the disabled spot at Sainsbury's in St John's but was met with a terse response.

The force has since defended the officer saying he had a genuine reason to use the bay.

Chief inspector David Troth said the officer dashed to the scene after receiving reports of a shoplifter who had been detained by supermarket staff.

CI Troth claims the officer needed quick access to the store which is why he parked in the disabled bay.

Bromsgrove Advertiser: West Mercia Police car parked in a disabled bay at Sainsbury's car parkWest Mercia Police car parked in a disabled bay at Sainsbury's car park (Image: Reader submission)

He said: "Further to a photograph of a police car parked in a disabled bay being brought to our attention we have looked into the matter and established the officer had a genuine reason to park there.

"The officer was responding to a report a shoplifter had been detained at a nearby supermarket and required quick access to the store.

“Police officers are not above the law and must abide by the same parking restrictions as members of the public, however, when they are responding to incidents quickly it is not always possible for these to be followed and I would hope members of the public would understand public safety is our absolute priority."

Ms Howell took pictures of the police car as she has a blue badge because she suffers with carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis in both of her knees and PTSD.

She said it took her five years to get her disabled badge.

Previous story: West Mercia Police car parked in disabled bay in Sainbury's carpark

"He was having his tea, but when I went up to him and asked him why he'd parked there and he said 'mind your business'" added Ms Howell. 

"Even if it was an emergency, he could've parked anywhere."

Although Worcester News readers have had a mixed reaction, some people have said the police officer was right to tell the woman to 'mind her business.' 

One said: "The police were right it has absolutely nothing to do with anyone."