Pretoria - Holidaymakers have been encouraged to be cautious of bogus police officers who may stop them with criminal intentions.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Kay Makhubela said: “We know it is difficult for people to see these fake police officers, but often they wear incomplete uniforms that don’t indicate police ranks.
“We have ranks from constable to generals. These criminals often do not have name tags.
“When motorists feel unsafe or unsure, they can choose to signal that they will stop, but at a safe location like a service station.”
He said in situations where fake officers show up at homes, residents should first call their police station before opening the door.
Fidelity ADT regional executive Agnieszka Gryn said: “We hear scary stories of people being pulled over by criminals posing as police officers.
“If you are travelling alone as a woman, you may want to consider having a security back-up plan in place. If you are stopped at an SAPS checkpoint, they will direct you to where you need to pull your vehicle off the road. You must obey and stop.
“This is normally a standard roadblock that is easily identified by the cars in front of you that have been pulled over. If you have been flashed to stop by a marked or unmarked police vehicle, put your hazards on to acknowledge their request and start driving slower or signal by hand that they must follow you.
“Make sure that you bring your vehicle to a standstill where it is safe for all. If there is a nearby garage, rather pull into the garage parking area or the nearest police station.”
Gryn said motorists may request that the officer provide identification irrespective of whether or not they were in uniform.
Officers could only search vehicles when given permission by the owner, unless they produced a search warrant.
“A female body search can only be performed by a female officer. If in doubt at any point, contact 10111 and give them the registration details and as much info as possible about the vehicle that is asking you to pull off.”
Gryn, however, advises motorists to speak in calm but audible tones, follow instructions, present their driver’s license if requested and avoid paying bribes or any fines on the spot.