Man convicted for converting his BMW to look like police car
The car was reported by various members of the public after it was spotted about the town with flashing blue lights and an insignia resembling a police motif.
It also sported a police style livery, with reflective bands and a sticker with the address AvonandSomersetpolie.com – which was made to look very similar to the website address of the Avon and Somerset Constabulary, only the ‘c’ of police omitted.
Prosecutor Christine Hart said that from the beginning of May, Yeovil police had started receiving reports of a silver BMW in the area, that had flashing blue lights in the rear windscreen.
Shortly afterwards, officers from the local station spotted the vehicle themselves, driven by local man, Sam Francis Jones.
“On May 26 police were leaving the station at Yeovil and Jones passed directly in front of them so they activated their blue lights to stop it,” she said.
“The defendant sped up the Queensway carriageway and round the hospital roundabout and back down, waving at the officers as he passed them.”
A month or so later, officers were on a routine patrol when they spotted the BMW parked in the car park of a nearby supermarket. They approached Jones who identified himself as the owner of the vehicle.
“Blue lights were fitted to the front windscreen and top corners of the window and livery bearing the website WWW.AvonandSomersetPolie.com which was missing the letter C,” said Miss Lenanton.
“He said he had previously spoken to the police and was told that as long as the lights were not connected it was OK, and he said they were not. He was then arrested for impersonating a police officer.”
The vehicle was subsequently examined and it was found that if certain buttons were pressed, the lights would flash and a siren would sound.
A police badge and reflective bands were also attached to the car.
The defendant’s solicitor said that that “The badge and strips were something you would purchase from a fancy dress or joke shop and it was done in jest when he put the Avon and Somerset Police livery on it.
“He has not stopped anybody posing as a police officer but was stopped himself and that is what he has pleaded guilty to.”
“He did not want to be pulled over but accepts looking into their window and knows he should have pulled over, but didn’t.”