The phrase 'chasing your own tail' has taken on a whole new meaning after Police Magazine revealed a junior Sussex Police officer recently spent 20 minutes trying to apprehend... himself.
The unknown rookie got himself into trouble after a CCTV operator back at the station didn't realise he was undercover, and kept telling him to follow what turned out to be his own shadow.
The undercover probationary officer was monitoring the "little market town in Sussex" after a recent spate of burglaries when the incident occurred, with the sergeant who realised the blunder only anonymously informing the magazine after he and his colleagues had finished having a good ol' laugh about it.
"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," he said.
"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," he added.
Of course, this isn't the first snafu Sussex police has committed - back in 2008, they accidentally handed out leaflets that directed locals to a porn website. Hello, hello, hello indeed.