A police officer was found to have wrongly issued a notice to a driver warning that he might face prosecution for careless driving, despite having no case against him, an independent watchdog of the force heard yesterday. The case, discussed at a meeting of the Independent Police Complaints Council, was discovered after the driver lodged a complaint against police for mishandling a report he filed. The driver told police he parked his car at a meter spot one night, but when he went to get it the next day, he found the front bumper damaged and scratch marks on the rear bumper. The car had also been moved forward. Police considered the case to be a traffic accident, but the driver accused them of neglect for failing to involve traffic and crime detectives. He was also unhappy that it took a month for police to take a statement from him. The force's Complaints Against Police Office substantiated the complaint about the delayed statement, but dismissed the other allegation. While the council agreed with the office's ruling, it found one of the officers investigating the case had inappropriately issued a Notice of Intended Prosecution warning the driver that he might be prosecuted for careless driving. It said there was no prima facie case against the driver and the notice would leave an innocent party with unnecessary anxiety. Chief Superintendent Chang Mo-see told the council yesterday that police had reviewed the case and agreed the officer should not have issued the notice. Some council members yesterday also commended the force's efforts in reducing the number of complaints against it. In the first two months of the year, there were 478 cases - 22.4 per cent fewer than the same period last year. Assistant Police Commissioner Charles Wong Doon-yee said they believed the drop was partly related to a systematic analysis of the complaint trend, and enhanced training for officers when dealing with the public.