English plainclothes police officer follows himself for 20 minutes

An undercover police officer in Sussex, England, shadowed a suspicious character through the streets a small market town for 20 minutes, following directions passed to him by a CCTV operator who guided him towards the suspect. After 20 minutes, the CCTV operator realized that the "suspicious character" was the police officer himself.

The operator directed the officer, who was on foot patrol, as he followed the "suspect" on camera last month, telling his colleague on the ground that he was "hot on his heels".

The officer spent around 20 minutes giving chase before a sergeant came into the CCTV control room, recognised the “suspect” and laughed hysterically at the mistake...

"The CCTV operator soon had the suspect on camera and everywhere he saw the male the keen PC was on his heels – radioing in to say he was in the same street...”

He added: "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."

CCTV police officer 'chased himself' after being mistaken for burglar (via Neatorama)


    1.  Embarrassing not naive, it says right there on the last line of the blog post what he was suspected of. Also on a blog like this one that links to interesting articles elsewhere you could always actually visit the link and actually read the article. Amazing isn’t it?

      1. ok, true, it says so in the title of the linked article.

        However, the surveilling officer was patrolling an area recently hit by burglaries. He himself was merely “acting suspiciously”, which is my question exactly.

        1.  I liked your first comment better; before you edited it. The one which said “Well at least you weren’t a dick about it.”

      2. general note: when you use the word ‘actually’ it comes off as condescending and actually makes you look like an asshole

  1. Lucky the sergeant was there, or the undercover copper might have ended up starting a secret life whereupon he married himself.

    1.  I’ll see yours and raise you the Banksy “What are you looking at” installation.
      Tried to find pictures, but so much copyright….

    2. A more than appropriate monument to Orwell.  After all, he was our first and greatest advocate for the total surveillance society.  I’m sure you’ll all agree. The author’s preferred edition of 1984 will be published and delivered to your doorstep soon.

        1. As of a few minutes ago, we’ve provided you with a doorstep.  There wasn’t room for it where you live, so we’ve installed your new doorstep a half block south of your residence.  Look for your copy of 1984 there.

    1. Oh, good. I thought I was the only one who thought of that scene.

      It’s fascinating how everyone has come up with a different cultural reference for this.

  2. I once read of a couple police officers chasing a UFO in their squad car around sunrise, only to find out later that it was the planet Venus.  At least they had a suspect.

  3. Elevator pitch: A detective is in hot in pursuit of his suspect. Only when he finds out he is the suspect, he has to go on the run to prove his innocence. And he’s running out of time!

  4. This is why you should always insist on buying a phone or tablet with two cameras.  One for spying on the rest of the world, and the other for conducting surveillance on yourself while you do so.

  5.  i scan the crowds until i see someone who is obviously insane

    and then i follow that person until they go into a building or get into a car

    in order to make sure that they dont do anything “crazy.”

    –MC 900 Foot Jesus

  6. I worked at a grocery store in high school. The security in the store was for loss prevention and was generally plain clothes. They tried to blend, but they also skulked behind counters and things. The number of times people came and told us they saw a suspicious man was incredible. You’d have to do something, so you’d call security and tell them someone had spotted a suspicious person in the (closed) deli section. It was awesome.

  7. If the CCTV operator really thought the cop he was “right on the heels” of a suspect, wouldn’t he have thought it was odd that only the suspect, and not the cop, showed up on the CCTV?

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