Police apologise after image of dirty number plate goes viral on Twitter

This image of a police car number plate covered in dirt was tweeted by Stephen McGowan from Tesco car park in Skegness. ANL-190402-162936001
This image of a police car number plate covered in dirt was tweeted by Stephen McGowan from Tesco car park in Skegness. ANL-190402-162936001

Police have apologised after an image of an officer’s car registration plate covered in dirt went viral on Twitter.

Stephen McGowan took to Twitter on Friday to ask Lincolnshore Police if it was illegal not to be able to read a number plate.

The picture has shown we fell below the standards we set for ourselves, for which I apologise

Chief Insp Phil Vickers

Lincolnshire Police tweeted back: “Hi Stephen, yes you can get pulled over as front and rear number plates must be securely affixed and readable at all times.”

He then tweeted the image and said: “Oh dear, that’s what I thought, Tesco’s in Skegness 12:39 today. I would give you the registration number, but...”

The tweet has since gone viral with over 3,840 likes.

Chief Insp Phil Vickers commented: “We shouldn’t be using a car with a number plate obscured by dirt. The photo shows the car is on private land, but it is fair to suspect it had been driven onto the road.

“Cars are checked and washed at the start of a shift unless an urgent call comes in.

“The picture has shown we fell below the standards we set for ourselves, for which I apologise.

“It may be there was a sound reason for the response car to be in that condition, but clearly it sets a poor example to the public. Many response officers don’t get time to stop for a break in their shifts which can last between eight and 12 hours and we cover vast rural areas.”