ACT Policing is raising concerns about the use of un-authorised warning devices including the use of flashing lights in personal vehicles.
ACT Policing has received several reports in the past few weeks of non-police vehicles using red and blue flashing lights — believed to be smart phone applications — visible by other road users, and placing them in vulnerable positions.
ACT Policing Operations Superintendent Kylie Flower said that these types of incidents are concerning and may lead to criminal charges if someone is caught using a smart phone or device in this manner.
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“ACT Policing takes matters like this very seriously. It is an offence to impersonate a police officer, and there are obvious concerns including road safety and community confidence,” Superintendent Flower said.
“While we do have different coloured cars — including the purple RAPID fleet and a green utility for example — our police vehicles are highly visible and have several blue and red flashing lights, particularly along passenger windows, on the roof of cars and on the rear dash.
“If you are pulled over by a police officer in an unmarked car or an uniformed officer, they must be carrying their badge, and this is a sure way of identification. It is also an offence to fail to obey police direction and ACT Policing officers will identify themselves as police. The public has every right to ask for identification and credentials,” she said.
A person apprehended for impersonating a police officer may be charged under section 362 of the Criminal Code 2002 (ACT), which has a maximum penalty of 50 penalty units and/or imprisonment for six months.
Police are urging anyone who may have witnessed this type of behaviour to contact ACT Policing Operations on 131 444.
[ED – It turns out my phone already does this through the entirely innocent torch app. We’re not sure who will be fooled by this one]