An undercover policeman spent more than 20 minutes chasing himself around the streets in Sussex after a CCTV operator mistook him for a suspect. The officer was patrolling an area which has recently seen a sharp rise in burglaries when he was told about someone acting suspiciously. The policeman was directed in his pursuit by the CCTV operator who informed him that he was ‘hot on the heels’ of the suspicious looking suspect, unaware it was actually himself.

The shadow chasing lasted around 20 minutes before a sergeant entered the CCTV control room recognising the plain clothed officer.

The CCTV operator soon had the suspect on camera and everywhere he saw the male, the keen PC was on his heels, radioing in to say he was in the same street. Every time the man darted in to another side alleyway, the PC was turning immediately into the same alleyway – but every time the CCTV operator asked what he could see, there was no trace.

With the sergeant’s sides aching from laughter, he pointed out to the PC that the operator had been watching him unaware that he was a plain-clothes officer.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said today that it was made aware of the incident and admitted they had ‘had a laugh’ when they heard about it – but could give no further details.