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It seems a speeding driver can't escape one very long arm of the law - one policeman has now ticketed him on both sides of the world.

Former London policeman Constable Andy Flitton, now an officer in Rangiora, could only laugh when a man he had just reprimanded recognised him as the officer who ticketed him in Britain two years earlier.

Now with the traffic unit for the Rangiora police, Canterbury, Mr Flitton stopped the speeding driver near Leithfield in late September.

On asking the driver for details, the man produced his South African and British licences and told Mr Flitton he had just emigrated from England where he had lived for 12 years.

Mr Flitton went back to his car and while writing out the ticket, was approached by the driver, who was smiling.

"He asked if I had worked in London. I said, 'yes.' He asked if I used to operate the laser gun on the A5 in North London. I said, 'yes.'

"And he said, 'I thought it was you. You gave me my last speeding ticket there two years ago'."

Mr Flitton was an officer for the Metropolitan Police in London for about 26 years. He has worked with the traffic unit in Rangiora since, after arriving just over two years ago.

He said at first, he had not recognised the man. "The minute he said it though, I remembered the whole thing. We both just had a laugh."

The man told Mr Flitton he had only been in the country less than two weeks and was still looking for a place to live in Canterbury.

They also discussed the odds of meeting each other again the same way. "We must have some sort of connection," Mr Flitton said.

"He only ever broke the law twice and both times I was the one to give him a ticket. It cost him £60 over there and $120 over here so it wasn't cheap.

"It just shows what a small world it really is."

- additional reporting: NZPA