'Fake cops' spark safety concern for drivers

SUNSHINE Coast drivers have been warned to be aware of people posing as police officers, after yet another instance in Brisbane.

The latest happened on Saturday night in the suburb of Bracken Ridge and is at least the third in recent weeks.

In previous incidents, two women were targeted in Brisbane's north.

One posted details of her experience on Facebook, telling how she was followed by a dark-coloured Commodore that turned on police lights and flashed high beams in a signal to pull over.

Her post came just days after another incident in which an 18-year-old woman was pulled over at Eatons Hill by a P-plated sky-blue Ford Falcon utility she believed was an unmarked police car.

The woman stopped her car after the vehicle travelling behind her activated red and blue flashing lights and a man approached her claiming he was a police officer.

She became suspicious and drove off but the man followed her until she drove to a nearby police station.

In Saturday night's incident at Bracken Ridge, a black Hyundai Santa Fe used flashing red and blue lights in the front windscreen in an attempt to stop a vehicle.

Despite the scares, a police spokeswoman said fake police incidents were not common.

She said it was rare for undercover police to be used in traffic interceptions but there were instances when an undercover officer would pull someone over.

All on-duty police officers, whether in plain clothes or uniform, were required to carry official QPS identification, comprising a metal QPS badge and an identification card, complete with the officer's name, registered number and photograph.

A member of the public may ask to view an officer's QPS identification to verify the officer's credentials and can contact local police to verify an officer's details.

The penalty for impersonating a public official carries a maximum term of three years imprisonment.

Police advised anyone who believed they were being intercepted by a fake police vehicle to phone police or 000 to verify the identity of the vehicle or person.

Should a motorist find themselves in this situation they can:

  • Stop at a place they feel safe, such as a well-lit area or an area with other people;
  • Keep their doors locked and windows closed;
  • Request to see the person's police identification; and
  • Advise the person they are calling police to verify their identity.

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