Vicky Spratt | Deputy Editor | Monday, 4 January 2016

Woman Tricked Into Pulling Over By Men In Fake Police Car In Wiltshire

Woman Tricked Into Pulling Over By Men In Fake Police Car In Wiltshire

The Debrief: Wiltshire Police are appealing for witnesses after a lone female driver was pulled over by a man posing as a police officer on New Year's Eve

On New Year’s Eve a lone female driver was pulled over by a fake police car containing two middle aged men, posing as police officers, just after 4.30pm in South Wiltshire.

No, not the plot to a questionable teen horror film, but, unfortunately, a true story. 

We all remember the urban myths that did the rounds when we were growing up.  There was the one about the crying baby on the doorstep and others which normally involved a fake police car pulling unsuspecting people (usually women) over, under false pretenses, as they drive down dark country lanes on their own at night. 

Wiltshire police are appealing for further information after the woman’s car was followed along Down Barn Road in Winterbourne Gunner, by the car which was flashing its headlights at her and then a blue light. 

Apparently the women was pulled over and told by the driver of the imposter police car – a well-dressed man in his 30s, with short dark hair – that she had no tax or insurance and needed to sit in his car and give him her details.

At this point the woman became suspicious and asked to see the man's ID. 

The man then pushed her and there was a short scuffle, but the woman managed to get back into her car and drove off. 

She also reported seeing a passenger in the front seat – a bald man of a similar age to the driver. 

The fake police car then followed her to the junction with the A345 and was seen turning left towards Salisbury. 

What’s troubling about this incident is that many of us, if we found ourselves in the position of being flashed by what looked like an unmarked police car, would probably do the same as the victim - pull over and stop. Our natural inclination would be to place our trust in what we perceive to be those in a position of authority. 

However, you might not know that if it’s an unmarked car you don’t actually have to stop right there and then. 

Here’s some advice from Wiltshire Police about what to do if there is an unmarked police car following you and asking you to stop:

  • An unmarked police car can stop vehicles, but it must contain a constable who MUST be in uniform in order to carry out the stop.
  • If you are not 100% certain that it is the police, or you feel vulnerable in any way then you can drive steadily to the nearest public place (a petrol station for instance) before stopping. 
  • If you do this they advise trying to signal, showing that you have acknowledged their request to stop but indicating that you are going to drive on before stopping. 
  • Keep the doors locked until you are happy that it is the police. Have your mobile phone at hand just in case. You can ask to see a warrant card, which should carry a name and photograph, through your closed window.

The police are currently appealing for further information about this incident. Another car passed the two parked cars while the incident was taking place – Wiltshire police are looking for the people in this car and asking them to contact DC Paula Clissold on 101. 

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