A woman was left ‘shaking like a leaf’ after she had a disturbing encounter with an undercover police officer in an unmarked car.
The 36-year-old was driving to work when a silver 4×4 flashed hidden blue lights at her before the driver repeatedly waved out of his window.
The vehicle’s indicators were then put on in what appeared to be an attempt to get the woman to stop, Hull Daily Mail reported.
The terrified woman, who asked to remain anonymous, couldn’t tell if the man, who was alone and not in uniform but wearing a high-vis vest, was a genuine policeman or a fake officer.
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Eventually two passing motorcyclists became so concerned by his behaviour that they escorted the woman along the road before the 4×4 sped off at a junction.
Humberside Police have confirmed that the man was a police officer and have apologised for his conduct.
The woman is speaking about the experience as greater attention is turned towards police behaviour in the wake of Wayne Couzens’ sentencing for the murder of Sarah Everard.
Ms Everard was kidnapped by Couzens using his police-issue badge and handcuffs.
Thinking she was under arrest, the 33-year-old got into his hired car before she was abducted and murdered.
The Hull woman recalled how she encountered the silver Land Rover at around 7.50pm on Thursday, September 23.
“There was a silver Land Rover up ahead that I moved to overtake, there was no way to know it was a police vehicle,” she said.
“Before I could overtake him he flashed a little set of blue lights that were down the bottom near the tow bar so I slowed down.
“He was going 40 in a 40 so I slowed right down to match behind him but he kept putting his arm out the window to wave me to overtake him.
“I slowed down because I didn’t want to be caught speeding, when we got to the first roundabout he just carried on doing the same thing, arm out the window telling me to go past.
“He kept doing it right up to the Marfleet Roundabout and just before he slowed right down to try and go behind me. He was flashing his indicators trying to get me to pull over.
“I changed lane and he was following where I was moving, indicating the whole time. A couple of bikers had noticed what was going on and pulled alongside him and looked into his car.
“They immediately dropped back to start following me so I got an idea that something wasn’t right, I ended up side by side with the Land Rover and he just didn’t react.
“He was there in a high vis just looking at the road.
“You’d think if you were trying to pull someone over you’d wave at them to go to the side of the road or something but he didn’t even look at me.”
The woman says she’s been left enduring sudden moments of panic since the encounter.
“When I got (to work) I was shaking like a leaf, just the way he was it all just seemed off,” she continued.
“The bikers told me they’d spotted he wasn’t in uniform and didn’t have the equipment they’d expect so hung around to see what happened.
“I called the police straight away to tell them about it and I got a message later on to say ‘not to worry it is an official vehicle’.
“I thought that isn’t really the point so I called them again the next day to ask why I was being pulled over or asked to pass, what he was doing and why wasn’t he in a marked car or uniform.
“I got a call later that day to tell me that it was an inexperienced officer and he shouldn’t have been in that vehicle and that it wouldn’t be happening again as he wouldn’t be out in an unmarked car like that.”
The woman called the police who later told her ‘not to worry it is an official vehicle’.
When she phoned again the following day, someone explained to her that it was an inexperienced officer who shouldn’t have been in that vehicle and that it wouldn’t happen again.
When asked for an official comment, a Humberside Police spokesperson said: “We received reports of suspicious activity on Hedon Road, Hull, at 7.50pm on Thursday, 23 September, involving a person trying to flag down a motorist.
“We can confirm this was a police vehicle and the officer left the scene soon after as he was called away on police business.
“We understand the call was of good intent and would like to thank the person who reported it for showing concern for a fellow motorist.”
In an updated statement a spokesperson for Humberside Police confirmed the driver had been a serving police officer ‘undertaking specific police duties’; at the time of the incident.
They said they understood the woman’s concern and offered to have a senior officer talk to the woman. They also praised the passing bikers for showing concern.
A spokesperson for the force said: “Following inquiries, we can confirm that the lady’s account aligns with that of the police officer driving the vehicle. The officer was undertaking specific police duties at the time of the incident.
“We understand how this incident could have caused concern and want to thank the person who reported it for showing concern for a fellow motorist.
“We would welcome the chance to speak to the member of the public involved and to reassure her of the officer’s actions.”
The incident comes as police try to react to the fallout from the horrific events that led to the murder of Sarah Everard by Couzens, a serving Met officer which has placed intense scrutiny on how they interact with the public and in particular lone male officers with women.
Humberside Police have suggested that people shout out, flag cars down or call 999 if they are concerned by an officer’s behaviour.
They said that some of their officers do work alone, particularly those in uniform or more specific roles, however it is very rare for plain clothes officers to be alone.
They said if they are alone, they should be calling for assistance with other officers arriving soon or will have other officers stationed close by.
They said that every police officer, including our Specials and plain clothes officers, carries identification with them and can explain to you who they are, what they are doing and why.