A motorist wrongly accused of driving without insurance was furious when the police officer Tweeted a picture of his seized car before he could prove his innocence.
Security guard Nathan Phipps (34) was taking a Renault Clio he had just bought for a test drive with girlfriend Jane Jarvis when he was ordered to pull over.
He was questioned and told he was being charged with driving without insurance, which carries a fine of £300 and six penalty points, and the car was seized.
Nathan insisted he was covered by third party insurance but was left standing at the roadside with Jane (39), and their two dogs after being told to find their own way home.
But, before leaving, the traffic cop slapped a sticker on the Clio, took a photo of it and put it on Twitter with the message “finished the day as started, another no insurance #seized’.”
Fuming Nathan had to ring his father to pick him up from the side of the A19 between Skipton and Broughton in North Yorkshire.
He proved his innocence the following day when he took his insurance documents to his local police station who told him the charge would be dropped.
But he was still left £150 out of pocket when he was charged to release the car despite it being unfairly seized.
Nathan, a dad-of-one from Earby, has now lodged an official complaint against the North Yorks officer who stopped him on September 18th.
He said: “I’m absolutely disgusted. It was my girlfriend’s car and we had just bought it.
“I’ve used the garage a lot so they said I could take it for a drive and if I wanted any extra work doing on it, they would carry it out and I could pick it up the next day.
“I knew I was covered by my third party insurance and was absolutely positive I had all the documents at home to prove it.
“I told the officer this when he stopped me but he wouldn’t listen.
“He was very arrogant and just kept playing with his phone.
“I told him to ring my insurance company to check it out and he said he would.
“But he came back a few minutes later and told me he’d phoned and they said I had no insurance.
“I knew at the time it was a mistake. I don’t know why they told him I had no insurance but I’m sure that was just a misunderstanding.
“But what really annoyed me was when I saw what he was doing on his phone.
“When he started taking the picture of my car, I asked him what he was doing and he said he had a Twitter account and he and a few of the lads had a good laugh about it.
“I said I didn’t find it funny at all.
“A few minutes later, when I looked at the screen I saw him send the Tweet with a picture of my car.
“When I told him I was not happy about it he just told me ‘it was done’ and there was nothing he could do about it.”
He added: “Once I proved I had insurance they decided to drop it so I haven’t had to pay the £300 fine or had the six penalty points.
“But the police said if I want get my £154 back I have to go to a solicitor.
“I haven’t received a single apology either.
“When I got into work the next day, my colleagues knew about it because someone had seen it on Twitter.”
After lodging his complaint, Nathan has been told that police regard Tweeting as a useful public relations exercise.
He added: “I don’t think it is good PR at all - I think it is highly unprofessional.
“The officer should not have been on his phone Tweeting when I was standing there, and he put it out that I was uninsured when I was.
“I am totally disgusted. I wouldn’t do it at work and I don’t think he should have done it either. Plus all my colleagues were aware of it and so I looked really bad.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do next but they’ve picked on the wrong person.”
North Yorkshire Police confirmed no action was being taken with the no insurance and Nathan’s complaint was being investigated.
A spokesman said: “As this issue is the subject of an investigation by the force’s professional standards department, it is not appropriate for us to comment at this time.”