Wayne Dawes, 40, wandered among hundreds of chief constables, politicians and senior officers at the Association of Chief Police Officers' summer conference in Manchester, which was attended by Home Secretary Theresa May.
He even posed for photos by a display of police cars in his pretend uniform without being sussed.
A witness at the conference said: "Everyone just assumed he was a police officer. No one batted an eyelid."
A source said: "He has a weird fixation with the police. It beggars belief that an oddball dressed as a traffic cop could mix with senior officers unchallenged at a secure event."
Dawes was arrested for impersonating a police officer and is due to answer bail today. (We're only shocked that a few hundred or so ACPO and SMT ranks haven't been nicked for the same offence!) Dawes is understood to have been a special constable in West Yorks but had to quit because specials cannot work as private security guards. Dawes, of Hyde, Manchester has a conviction for tuning a scanner in to police radio messages.
The ACPO insisted cops' safety had not been put at risk at the conference and that Dawes had not spoken to Theresa May there. Which is a pity, he might have been among the few to put forward a sensible coherent comment! There is apparently no truth to the rumour that he was caught stuffing his face with chocolate dipped strawberries . . . . the ACPO Chiefs had scoffed them all before he got there.
On the basis of the ACPO conduct over recent times, and indeed, their track record to date, there are some that might suggest that Dawes would fit in quite well at ACPO.