A POLICE officer has apologised after posting selfie-style photographs of emergency services staff smiling yards from the scene of a four-vehicle collision.
North Yorkshire Police said Yorkshire Ambulance Service and North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service workers had asked the officer, who has not been named, to take the images after dealing with the crash, on the North York Moors, near Fylingdales.
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Three people sustained minor injuries and two others received hospital treatment before being released, following the crash on the A171 on Tuesday, at 9am.
Minutes after pictures of the crash scene were posted on North Yorkshire Police Roads Policing Group's Twitter page, the pictures of emergency services staff were added with the hashtag 'professionalsatwork'.
Facebook users labelled the selfies as disrespectful and crash victim Liam Gault added: “It doesn’t matter if the crash resulted in injuries or not, there are things you don’t do and this is one.
“The crash will have affected the people involved and would have had a knock-on effect for loads of other drivers who I’m sure would have been annoyed to see the emergency services taking selfies.”
A police spokeswoman said the officers had been waiting for recovery vehicles to arrive before reopening the road.
She added: "Although these are the frontline members of staff who work with each other on an all too regular basis, dealing with tragedy on our roads every day, thankfully, on this occasion, no-one was seriously injured.
“Social media is a valuable tool for the emergency services and is used every day by hundreds of officers and staff to engage and inform members of the public and to help us prevent and detect crime.
“The officer who took the photo has apologised if any offence has been caused, particularly to the people involved in the collision.”
A Yorkshire Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “We are assured that the photograph was taken by the police officer in innocence and did not breach patient confidentiality.”
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue area manager Dave McCabe responded: “We will be carrying out an investigation into this occurrence and are, therefore, unable to comment further at this time.”