A Northern Territory news reporter has been charged with impersonating a police officer.
On the 17 October 2022 the news reporter attended a United Service Station in Holtze and allegedly impersonated a police officer in order to obtain a copy of CCTV footage from a recent incident that occurred at the Station. The attendant has provided the reporter with a copy of the footage- under the misrepresentation the reporter was a police officer.
As part of their investigation into the impersonation, police obtained CCTV footage of the alleged incident, which depicts the reporter having a brief conversation with the attendant of the service station and gave her permission to go behind the counter. The footage does not have sound.
The fuel station manager assert that the reporter stated that she was a police officer, and as it was not uncommon for plain clothed police officers to show up requesting CCTV, he did not think anything of her request.
The reporter is pleading not guilty to the alleged offence. The reporter’s legal representation believes that the fuel station attendant, gave the reporter permission to enter behind the counter, without requesting the correct documentation, and panicked with the fear that he could lose his job and has then fabricated his recollection of the events.
The matter is set to return to court in February 2024.
The offence of impersonating a police officer, is very serious in nature as impersonating a police officer, causes confusion and chaos within society.
In Queensland, a person can be charged under section 97 of the Criminal Code:
Section 97 Personating public officers
(1) A person who—
(a) personates a public officer on an occasion when the officer is required or authorised to do an act or attend in a place by virtue of the officer’s office; or
(b) falsely represents himself or herself to be a public officer, and assumes to do an act or to attend in a place for the purpose of doing an act by virtue of being that officer; commits a misdemeanour.
Penalty— Maximum penalty—3 years imprisonment.
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