• Kyodo

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A police officer resigned Friday after it was revealed that she’d been driving patrol cars around the city of Kawagoe since November despite the fact she didn’t have a driving license.

“I thought I’d be forced to resign from the Criminal Investigations Bureau if I admitted I didn’t have a license,” the Saitama Prefectural Police quoted the 22-year-old as saying.

The police said earlier Friday that the officer, who belonged to the Kawagoe Police Station’s Criminal Affairs Division, had been referred to prosecutors and suspended for six months. Her referral was based on the allegation that she drove police cars four times in Kawagoe from Jan. 10 to 15.

The officer, however, apparently got behind the wheel of Kawagoe’s police cruisers some 10 to 20 times before she was found out.

Her secret came to light when she was questioned after an accident in the Kawagoe Police Station’s parking lot on Jan. 16. That forced her to reveal that she had been driving with only a motorcycle license.

In reports submitted every April and October, the police officer wrote that she had been licensed to drive cars and midsize trucks or other vehicles.

“It is extremely regrettable that a police officer has committed such an act,” said Katsuhiko Kondo, chief inspector of the Saitama Prefectural Police. “We will do our best to ensure this type of incident will not be repeated, by doing our utmost when advising our officers.”