Fake police officer ‘waving a warrant card’ ordered woman to stop on M1

A man posing as a police officer allegedly ordered a woman driving alone on the motorway to pull over while waving what appeared to be a warrant card.

The terrified woman told the BBC she did not pull over, but reported the incident on the M1 in Leicestershire to police.

But due to “poor service” by two forces involved, the matter ceased being treated as a criminal investigation when the six-month limit for prosecuting such an offence expired.

According to the woman, she feared the case bore a resemblance to that of Wayne Couzens, who used his police warrant card to falsely arrest Sarah Everard, before raping and murdering her.

She said she felt “really let down” by the case.

Wanting to remain anonymous, she admitted to the BBC that she had been speeding northbound on the M1 in March 2023 when she spotted an unmarked car with the man inside waving a small black wallet with an EIIR Royal-style symbol from his window.

She slowed down and he drove parallel to her, she said, before he angrily shouted at her to pull over.

“He’s looking at me, not the road ahead and the window wasn’t open on my side, but it was on his passenger side and he’s waving the badge that I can clearly see is a black wallet with a police crest badge stuck on the outside,” she said.

“I immediately thought of Wayne Couzens… I was genuinely frightened. I was shaking. I was gripping the steering wheel.”

After not stopping, the man slowed down and pulled off the motorway before the woman reported the incident to police, providing the car registration.

Because the man was linked to Northamptonshire Police it was referred to the force, which then established he had worked in a civilian role months prior while employed by a contractor.

It was then passed onto Leicestershire Police as the incident took place in the county, but it took until the end of August for the force to log it as an alleged crime of impersonating a police officer.

The investigation then hit the six-month limit for prosecuting such an offence.

In a letter to the woman in February this year, the professional standards department of Northamptonshire Police said the suspect had been spoken to over the phone, and he had denied the allegations.

The letter said: “Ultimately you have been given a poor service throughout the life of this investigation.

“Unfortunately, early misinformation that this male was a police officer with Northamptonshire Police led to this becoming a complaint investigation as opposed to a criminal investigation.”

In a statement issued to The Independent, Leicestershire Police said it was first notified about the incident in July 2023.

A spokesperson said: “Initial enquiries were carried out. However, due to a six-month statutory time limit placed on prosecuting summary only offences, and evidential difficulties, Leicestershire Police were unable to progress the report further.”

In response, the woman said: “I feel really let down. I still feel sick, panicky and scared. I would say he was a fake policeman who wanted to do me harm.”

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