Fake police officer in stab vest tells cyclist he needs a licence to ride in bike lane

Real police are now investigating after a member of the public impersonated an officer

Police officer
Police are investigating after a member of the public impersonated a police officer
(Image credit: Getty Images)

An investigation has been launched after a fake police officer wearing a stab vest told a cyclist he needed a licence to ride in a bike lane.

The bizarre incident happened in Leicester on Monday, June 21, when the cyclist was waved down by the driver of a black car with a small blue light on its roof.

After pulling over the cyclist, a man wearing a stab vest with ‘police’ printed on it got out of the vehicle and told the rider he needed a licence to use the cycle lane. 

Police said a heated discussion ensued between the fake police officer and the cyclist, who was riding a high value bike.

A women then approached the two men, and the man in the stab vest left the scene. 

Leicestershire Police are investigating the incident as a case of a member of the public impersonating a police officer. 

PC Ben Hill said: “We would ask the public to be vigilant and if in any doubt ask an officer for their identification.

“We would also like to hear from anyone who saw this incident or from anyone who was driving along Ethel Road and may have captured it on dash cam.” 

The incident happened around 9.45am on Monday, June 21 in Ethel Road, Leicester.

According to police, the man in question was driving a black Ford vehicle. He is described as white, 5ft 11ins tall, in his late 20s, with brown hair with a beard. 

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 and give the reference 21*347219. 

Under the section 90 of the Police Act 1996, it is a criminal offence for a member of the public to impersonate a police officer or where any article of police uniform. 

The legislation says: “Any person who with intent to deceive impersonates a member of a police force or special constable, or makes any statement or does any act calculated falsely to suggest that he is such a member or constable, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine."

The law adds: “Any person who, not being a constable, wears any article of police uniform in circumstances where it gives him an appearance so nearly resembling that of a member of a police force as to be calculated to deceive shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine.” 

Cycling licences have often been debated both in the media and in government, but have never come close to being a reality.

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The government recently said: “The registration and licensing of cyclists was raised by some respondents, adding that the case for cycling licences is not as strong as for drivers because crashes are far less likely to cause serious injury to other road users.

The government added it has no plans to introduce a registration and licensing system because the “costs and complexities would significantly outweigh the benefits.”

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.