A Merseyside police spokesperson said: “We are aware of an image circulating on social media showing a partially clothed man with police equipment.
“The image was reported to the Professional Standards Department at Merseyside Police in May 2020 when it appeared on social media after it had been shared on a dating app.
“Following an investigation it was established that the man pictured was not – and has never been – a police officer or a member of police staff.
“The man was wearing police equipment belonging to a serving Merseyside Police officer in the photograph.
“The officer was not present at the time the photograph was taken or aware it was being taken.
“He was given advice by our Professional Standards Department and the man who posted the image on a dating app later removed it on the officer’s request.
"Our dedicated Professional Standards Department thoroughly investigate any allegations of misconduct by anyone employed by the force.
“It is essential that police officers and staff act with respect, professionalism and integrity at all times and that as a Force we take swift and robust action to investigate anyone whose behaviour falls short of those high standards.”