A replica South Australian police car will be rebranded as a security car after police cracked down on a West Auckland man driving his pride and joy.
Rodney Roper was given the go-ahead by Police Headquarters today that he could replace the sign-written words "Police" and the related South Australian Police emblem with the words "Security".
Roper said although it wasn't part of his dream to drive a replica car, it was an acceptable solution.
"Since I'm a security officer, I asked if I could put security on it and they've basically given me the go-ahead to do that. So I'm going to do that instead.
"It will look exactly the same, just instead of 'Police' it will have 'Security'.
"It's OK. It's as good as it can get, I guess."
It also meant the $3000 spent buying custom-made reflective vinyl markings from a sign-maker could be salvaged as the blue checks could stay.
Roper had yet to price up how much the additional signage would be and in the meantime have covered up the words "Police" so he could drive the 2011 Holden Commodore Omega around without breaking the law.
He put white pieces of paper over the emergency signs at the weekend.
Police have warned the West Auckland man he can't drive his replica South Australian police car in public - but he thinks they're just jealous because his car is better than theirs.
Police visited Roper last week and told him that if he did not cover the words "Police" he could be charged with impersonating a police officer, punishable by a maximum penalty of 12 months in prison and a fine of $15,000.
A police spokesperson said the rules that governed the use of vehicle livery, words and graphics that might be subject to trademark protection and activities that could only be carried out only by constables of police could be found in a number of legislation.
"For example, whether a person breaches the law by representing his vehicle as being in the service of police will depend on factors such as whether a bystander may be led to believe that the vehicle is in the service of police."
By removing the word "Police" from his vehicle he would not be committing an offence under the Policing Act, the spokesperson said.
However it was up to the driver to make sure he could drive the vehicle on the road without breaking the law.