Policeman ‘chased himself’ for 20 minutes while looking for suspect

A police officer chased himself for more than 20 minutes whilst on the look out for someone “acting suspiciously”, it has been revealed.

The probationary officer, from Sussex Police, was undercover checking out an area that had been hit by a spate of burglaries when he was alerted by CCTV operators to a nearby suspect. Unaware that the suspect was himself, the officer set off to track them down – chasing his own tail for more than 20 minutes.

The mistake was only realised after a sergeant inside the CCTV control room recognised the young officer, prompting mass hilarity. The pursuit came to light after a senior officer spoke of the incident to a magazine published by the Police Federation.

“Every time the man darted in to another side alleyway, the PC was turning immediately into the same alleyway, but every time the CCTV operator asked what he could see there was no trace,” the senior officer revealed.

“It was at this point that the sergeant entered the control room where he recognised the junior officer.

“With the sergeant's sides aching from laughter he pointed out to the PC that the operator had been watching him unaware that he was a plain-clothes officer – thus the PC had been chasing himself round the streets,” he added.

Sussex Police also managed to see the funny side of the incident. “Policing is often a serious business, so we all enjoy moments of light relief,” a spokesperson said.

“This story was shared anonymously with the Police Federation magazine, so unfortunately without the date or location, confirming the details and locating the officer is harder for us than it was for the CCTV operator.”