A PARKING officer has astonished residents after being spotted using a private car park – to monitor the private car park next door.

The officer, from Vehicle Control Services Ltd, was hired by Barker and Stonehouse in a bid to stop cinema-goers from using it while they visit Vue Cinema at Feethams in Darlington.

However, the officer was spotted using the private car park of MyFirmsApp, directly behind Barker and Stonehouse, in order to catch and fine motorists.

One resident, who caught the officer on film, said he took the video because he was surprised by the irony of the action.

He said: “It started with the warden parking in Barker and Stonehouse, but that tipped people off that there was a parking warden there so he moved.

"But, because there’s nowhere else to park, he parks around the corner where people can’t see him. The hypocrisy of that is just amazing.

“This is a man who hands out fines to people who are parking where they are not supposed to, while parked in a place he’s not supposed to. He’s parking in a private car park and fining people who are doing the same thing.”

A representative for Vehicle Control Services Limited said: "Arrangements that apply to the use of the land in question are a matter between us and the landowner."

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from MyFirmsApp said: “We didn’t have any knowledge of a warden parking there so we haven’t given anyone specific permission.

“But at the same time people use our car park all the time which is extremely frustrating.

“We have always had problems with people using our car park but it’s still private property and belongs to our offices.

“Even when people think offices are shut they will try to park there and it doesn’t matter how many signs we put up. We have even had to call the police a few times because we have been blocked in by vehicles left there.”