Police say officers from the Niagara Regional Police Service have now responded to four incidents across the Niagara Region of persons impersonating a police officer.
1) On January 26th 2016, an adult woman was seated in her car, in a parking lot on Carlton St. near Promenade Bvd. in St. Catharines. An unknown male approached the woman’s car. The man verbally identified himself as a Niagara Regional Police officer. The man directed the woman from her car, at which point he conducted a cursory pat down search. He left on foot.
2) On January 29th, 2016, the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) received a report of a man posing as a police officer. The information indicated that on Friday January 22nd, 2016 at approximately 9:30 PM, an adult woman was driving her vehicle along Michener Road, Port Colborne when she observed a black 2 door Honda automobile travelling behind her. As she approached Farr Road, she noticed a circular red flashing light on the vehicle’s front dashboard. She pulled over and was approached by a male who told her that she had been speeding and requested that she exit her vehicle. The woman noticed that the male was not wearing a police uniform and asked to see his police badge, however, he was unable to produce appropriate identification. Believing the situation to be suspicious, the woman drove away.
3) On January 30, 2016, the NRPS received information regarding a black compact car driving at a high rate of speed on Highway 20 near Smithville. The adult woman driver reported that a small black car had approached her car from behind displaying an operating red dashboard light. The unknown driver of the black car tried to direct the female complainant to pull over. When the complainant pulled into a gas station in the area the suspicious black car drove away.
4) On February 2, 2016, the adult woman complainant was travelling on Decew Road near First Street Louth in St. Catharines. She noticed a black car behind her. The black car activated a red dashboard light. The complainant pulled over believing she was being stopped by the police. The unknown male driver of the black car stated that she had been speeding. The suspect male asked to see the driver’s license of the complainant. He then told her she could “carry on”.
The NRPS continues to investigate these criminal acts. It has not been confirmed that all these incidents are directly related or being committed by the same person.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Niagara Regional Police or Crime Stoppers of Niagara.
Police ask that the public remain vigilant and consider the enclosed safety tips.
- Make sure it is a marked police unit. If it is not a marked unit, the emergency lights should be built in and are usually not a temporary light placed on the vehicle.
- Try to stop in a well-lit area or a location where there are a lot of people present.
- Turn on your emergency flashers but don’t turn off your car.
- Do not get out of the vehicle to meet the officer. Officers usually prefer people to stay in their vehicle for their own safety.
- Lock your door.
- Look for a uniform, official department jacket, and other equipment used by police officers for the performance of their duties.
- Pay attention to what they are asking. Most officers will advise you of the reason for the stop and request your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance.
- If they immediately tell you to get out of the car without any preliminary questions, be suspicious.
- Trust your instincts. If they don’t seem to be a real police officer they are probably not.
- If the officer is in plainclothes, look for identifying clothing and equipment. If unsure, explain to the officer that you are unsure about the situation and ask them to display official department identification and badge. Ask where they work and if you can contact their dispatch center to confirm their identity. You may also request that a marked patrol unit respond.
Should you have concerns that the person you are encountering is not as a police officer, call 9-1-1.
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