The vigilante driver “installed flashing blue and white lights on the truck and pretended to be a police officer to stop speeding drivers.”
- Martin Goodall wears dark combat pants, a dark top and a police lanyard
- The former volunteer policeman said he still has the ability to work as a policeman
A vigilant motorist pretended to be a police officer to stop speeding drivers, a court heard.
Martin Goodall, 51, was a special police volunteer for a few months in 1996 before leaving his post.
But he told the court he had “confirmed his oath to the Crown” after Charles III became king, and felt he still had the ability to act as a policeman after 27 years.
The court heard he had strung blue and white flashing lights to the front of a white Vauxhall Combo van, was wearing dark combat trousers, a dark top and a police stamped lanyard around his neck.
On May 20, he was seen following a black hatchback which he felt was driving at 50mph in a 20mph zone in Poole, Dorset.
“I was making stops,” he said. I saw that black hatchback driving on the 50 and activated the blue lights.
But a real off-duty special cop passed Goodall’s truck and decided to follow him after not believing his flashing lights.
SPC Robert Armadi said: “He parked his car in an area in Lower Blandford Road and I walked past with my window open and asked him if a police officer was guilty.”
He said: Who are you? I explained to him that I was a special policeman and showed him my arrest card.
“He said he was a fully documented and secured special constable in the National Vehicle Damage Control Unit.
“I asked him if he had a warrant card, and he said, ‘I have my warrant card.’”
“I explained that I wasn’t sure if he had the authority to display blue lights, and he said he was a sworn special constable and allowed to stop vehicles. He said he (the motorist) was driving 50mph in a 20mph zone.
“I called 999 to say I was speaking to someone impersonating an officer. He started dropping names of police officers at Dorset Police and said he was a parish councilor in Wimborne.
Goodall, of Poole, was accused of impersonating a police officer in Bournemouth, Poole and Wimborne between January and June, contrary to the Police Act 1996.
He is also charged with four counts of using a vehicle fitted with a blue warning light between the same dates and locations in contravention of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
Goodall denied that he said he was working with the National Vehicle Damage Reduction Unit. He told magistrates in Poole that he told SPC Armadi he was with the United Nations Police Mission and was an ambassador for the National Police Welfare Service.
He told the court: ‘I am a sworn volunteer special police officer. I was certified as a special constable in the 1990s. I have worked in the criminal justice system for a number of years.
He added that he “reaffirmed his oath to the crown because a new king had been installed.”
But the court heard from Andrew Turtle, director of police for Dorset Police’s volunteer sector, that special constables give up their policing powers when they leave the service.
“Special constables are unpaid volunteer police officers who must be recruited, trained and vetted,” he said.
“The powers they have are similar to those of salaried police officers. They remain with the officer while they are on duty. When they retire, resign or leave the force for any reason those powers expire. They must surrender their authorization card and any equipment – Parva, And handcuffs, and uniform.
He added that if someone who left wanted to join again, they would have to go through the application process again.
District Judge Orla Austin asked him whether a special constable could use his powers in a county outside his jurisdiction.
“You have powers in all 43 forces in England and Wales, but you must wear a uniform to exercise those powers, and you must be able to identify yourself as a police officer,” Turtle said.
“It’s not something you can do, just go out and park uniformed vehicles outside of your home county.”
Goodall has pleaded not guilty to nine counts of impersonating a police officer and four counts of using a vehicle with a blue warning light.
The case was postponed until next December. Goodall was released on bail on the condition that he not be in possession of police equipment or clothing.
(Tags for translation)vigilance