A 66-year-old woman feared the worst when a policeman turned up at her door in the middle night – only to find out he was there to give her a ticking off about her parking earlier that day.

Sarah Lester, who lives in Bullhead Road, Borehamwood was woken up by her doorbell ringing and her dog barking at around 1.30am last Saturday.

Ms Lester, who lives on her own, peeped through her blinds to see someone pacing up and down on her driveway. When they showed no signs of leaving, Ms Lester called 999.

To her surprise, when she was on the phone to the call handler, she was told it was a policeman at her door.

Ms Lester said: “When I knew it was safe, I answered the door. But I froze with terror thinking something awful had happened to my family. I thought it had to be bad news.”

To her relief, the policeman did not have bad news but Ms Lester’s relief soon turned to fury.

It turned out she had been parked in School Lane in Bushey earlier that evening – for around an hour-and-a-half. Her car, which was in her driveway when the policeman turned up at her house, had been parked partially on the pavement.

When she asked the officer why he felt the need to come round to her home in the middle of the night to talk about the issue, Ms Lester claims the policeman said “I have chosen to deal with it this way”.

Is it illegal to park on the pavement? Outside of London, the simple answer is 'no'. Here's official advice by the motoring services company, RAC.

Borehamwood Times:

She added: “I called back the handler who said if the car was causing an obstruction, the police could remove it. I explained my car was on my driveway.

“Words cannot describe the horror of waking up at that time and hearing the ringing and knocking. I was shaking and very upset. The officer could clearly see the car was on my drive. Why didn’t I get a ticket when it was parked in School Lane if he was so concerned? Surely this is not the correct procedure to wake up citizens in the night?

“It is unacceptable. They should have known the fright it could have caused me. It feels like an abuse of power.”

Police in Bushey have been clamping down on motorists who park on pavements, issuing a series of tickets.

She had parked previously in School Lane – a road that connects High Street and Merry Hill Road – just once before. Her's was not the only one parked on the pavement, she says.

No ticket has been issued, as of yet.

Ms Lester has logged a complaint with Hertfordshire Constabulary and written to her MP, Oliver Dowden.

A spokeswoman for the police force said: “We are aware of the complaint and have been in touch with the lady. We are continuing to look into the matter and will update the complainant in due course.”