Man arrested on suspicion of impersonating police officer

PSNI detain man (26) in Craigavon after off-duty officer pulled over

The man stopped an off-duty officer and presented a homemade PSNI ID card. File photograph: Paul Mcerlane/EPA

The man stopped an off-duty officer and presented a homemade PSNI ID card. File photograph: Paul Mcerlane/EPA

 

A man has been arrested on suspicion of impersonating a police officer after he pulled over a real officer on the M1 in Northern Ireland.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said it may not have been the first time the man had impersonated an officer, and he was “simply unlucky” to have pulled over a policeman.

The PSNI in Craigavon, Co Armagh said the 26-year-old man was detained early on Wednesday morning after an off-duty police officer reported being pulled over on the M1 by what he believed was a police car.

When the off-duty officer stopped his vehicle, the driver of what he thought was a police car – an unmarked grey Skoda Superb that had been fitted with blue flashing lights – presented an ID card and stated the off-duty officer had been driving too fast.

The officer recognised the card was not a genuine PSNI ID card and got out of his car and challenged the man, who “immediately drove off at speed,” police said.

He was subsequently found and arrested in the Bluestone Hall area of Craigavon. A homemade “PSNI identity card” was found inside his car.

Chief Inspector Barney O’Connor said police were “concerned by this incident and we would like to hear from anyone who believes they may have encountered this man while he has been purporting to be a police officer.

“We believe it is possible that this is not the first occasion he has done this and he was simply unlucky to have pulled over a police officer,” he said.

He described the suspect as “white, approximately 5’ 9” tall, medium build with brown hair and blue eyes and spoke with a Polish accent.

“If you believe you have had any contact with this individual or his vehicle, please get in touch with police by calling 101, quoting reference 44 of 14th October 2020.”