A pair of British Bobbies (that’s what they call their coppers, apparently) have found themselves on the wrong side of the law after going for a blast in a wrongfully impounded Lamborghini.
It is the stuff of urban legends: Police officers impound a shiny, new piece of Italian exotica from a driver they believe has fallen foul of the law, and then take it on a high-speed joyride.
But this time it isn’t a myth. That exact scenario has played out in the UK after a pair of rozzers treated themselves to a speed limit-shattering blast in a Lamborghini Huracan – all after wrongfully impounding the supercar.
The story, first published in The Telegraph in June, alleges the officers pulled over the driver of the $428,000 Lamborghini, owned by rental company City Supercars, after their police computer showed the car as being uninsured.
It goes on, saying the rental company’s owner, Erwyn Mackee, spoke to the officers via phone, telling them the insurance had been recently renewed and the details had probably not yet updated on the database.
He even emailed documents and an invoice supporting his claims to police. However, this was dismissed, and the car –due at a wedding the next day – was impounded.
The officers then decided to have some fun in the car, taking it on a high-speed joyride through London.
Little did they know, the car had an on-board tracker recording their shenanigans. It clocked the officers doing 63mph (101km/h) on a road restricted to 30mph (48km/h). The officers were also pinged at 53mph (85km/h), and 47mph (75km/h) in similar speed-limit zones.
Mackee was swift to call out the officers, posting proof of the joyride on Twitter.
More Lamborghini fans? pic.twitter.com/Fl9ZGJFUE2— CitySupercars London (@citysupercars) June 2, 2016
“Your officers unlawfully impounded our Lamborghini tonight and went for joy ride at over double speed limit,” he tweeted, with a picture of the car’s data log.
Thankfully, the higher-ups took the claims seriously, and the offending officers were disciplined this week.
“After becoming aware of the car owner's concerns, an internal investigation was conducted,” the Met Police said in a statement.
"The police officer who drove the car was given three penalty points on his police driving record. A second officer was subject to management action.
“We are in the process of reimbursing the owner of the car the statutory £150 removal fee.”
We aren’t going to get into whether that is reasonable punishment for taking someone’s property for a joyride after unlawfully impounding it, but Mackee, who is also a lawyer, was pleased with the outcome.
The rental firm owner said the situation was resolved “amicably” and the Metropolitan Police were “very embarrassed and sorry that it happened because it makes them look so bad.”
However, he wasn’t so kind when talking about the two cops which impounded the Italian supercar.
“The officer was just being unreasonable and out of hand on the phone to me, and I was just trying to explain the facts calmly,” Mackee said.
“He was just off his head, completely bonkers - it was very frustrating.
“All the other officers I dealt with throughout the process were very reasonable and could understand basic logic.
“As an officer who has the power to do lots of things, the officer must have reason and ability and common sense and intuition and be able to listen to arguments and respond accordingly. If he doesn’t have those qualities he shouldn’t be an officer.”
The whole process is confirmation of fears held by some owners of high-end cars, who are anxious they will be unfairly targeted by police.
So remember kids, if your supercar is impounded by the police, it pays to have a tracker in your car. After all, who will police the police?