Lincolnshire Police apologise for patrol car's dirty number plate
Police have apologised after a marked car was pictured with its number plate obscured by dirt.
Stephen McGowan tweeted Lincolnshire Police asking if a driver could be stopped for having an unreadable number plate because of mud.
When the force said they could, he responded with a picture of the patrol car parked at a Tesco in Skegness.
Ch Insp Phil Vickers apologised, saying the photo showed "we fell below the standards we set for ourselves".
The officer said there may have been "a sound reason" for the car being in that condition but it "set a poor example to the public".
Ch Insp Vickers said many officers did not get time to stop for a break in their shifts which could last 12 hours, and the force covered vast rural areas.
His apology was made in an eight-post Twitter response to Mr McGowan in which he said: "You are absolutely correct, we shouldn't be using a car with a number plate obscured by dirt...
"Pic is on private land, but fair to suspect it drove onto the road."
Ch Insp Vickers added: "Cars are checked/washed at the start of shift unless an urgent call comes in, same at the end of duties (and during tour if required, as here). Please accept my apology for this error."
Mr McGowan replied: "Thanks for taking the time to respond Chief Inspector, have a good weekend."