A POLICE car has been pictured with two parking tickets after parking on double yellow lines in a seaside town... sparking fears the police officers may have fallen victim to a practical joke.

The Essex Police vehicle is understood to have been parked in Pier Gap, Clacton, on June 24.

An onlooker claims police officers were managing the crowds of people descending on the seaside town to mark Armed Forces Day.

In an image seen by the Gazette, the car can be seen with two penalty notices on its windscreen.

The eyewitness said: "The police were directing the convoy of motorbikes that were coming into Clacton and parking in Pier Gap.

"There were possibly more than 100 bikes, and the police car had its blue light flashing so the traffic warden should have seen this.

"Obviously everyone thought it was funny seeing the car with two parking tickets.

"It was parked on a double yellow line while they directed the traffic."

The photo has since surfaced online and caused a stir, with one commenter criticising the police officers for parking on the double yellow lines.

Others, however, have questioned if the traffic warden was in fact in the wrong, suggesting they should never have given the police car the tickets.

One said: "No, I don't think [they were in the wrong] - where else would they have to park?"

But the North Essex Parking Partnership, which issues penalty charge notices, denies that either ticket was issued to the vehicle in question.

A spokesman said: “We have investigated the matter and determined that there was no wrongdoing by our enforcement officers. Police vehicles are exempt from normal parking restrictions whilst on duty and were not issued a PCN in this case.

“The likely explanation is that passers-by may have moved two of three parking tickets issued at this location to other vehicles in the area and placed them on the police car windscreen.”