A West Midlands Police officer's uniform was stolen from a marked police car at a life-threatening emergency in Birmingham yesterday.

Officers had been called to a house in Abdon Avenue, Weoley Castle, just after midnight and were dealing with the incident when the offender took a bag of clothing from the boot of the vehicle. Although the car was locked, police are investigating how the boot was opened and whether it was unlocked.

The stolen bag contained a black police fleece jacket, a fluorescent jacket, a police helmet and a torch. The uniform is badged with the officer's name and collar number, which is D Bates 7201, although it is possible these may have been removed.

Police warned the public to beware of persons using the uniform fraudulently, and said police officers would always carry identification, which should be checked.

It is an offence to impersonate a police officer and anyone who may find themselves in possession of the uniform is urged to hand the clothing into their local police station.

People suspicious of any individual claiming to be a police officer should either check additional ID or contact their local police station.