THE DIRECTOR of a company that hires prop police cars to film and television productions found himself at the centre of a real-life emergency while driving one of his vehicles.  

Brent-James Pinder, managing director of Action Media Hire Ltd in Bury, along with his colleague Helen Heaton, was driving home in one of the company’s film police vehicles at around 11am on Thursday, May 12 when they spotted an articulated lorry on fire on the hard shoulder of the southbound side of the M40.

Brent, who also works at The Met, had just showcased the car at the Media Production and Technology Show in London when he saw the blaze on the M40 near Oxford.

As emergency services were yet to arrive, Brent, who was travelling northbound, turned the vehicle around to attend the scene.

No-one was reportedly injured in the incident and the lorry driver was safe away from the vehicle.

Once Brent and Helen approached the blaze, they stopped the vehicle straddling lanes one and two, activated the lights and then stood on the embankment away from the road side.

Despite not being a real police officer, Brent explained that he still had a “duty of care” for the public.

He said:“We were in contact with Thames Valley Police after the incident too as they had to check why we had the vehicle.

"They expressed their appreciation for our quick response and confirmed that they was satisfied with our reasoning.

“We acknowledged with the police that we understood that using the blue lights was a contravention of the Roads Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989 but that as civilians had been continuing to travel in all three lanes and close to the fire, we had a duty of care to use the asset we held and to preserve life under the Human Rights Act 1998.”

While the motorway was closed, Prince Charles was also caught in traffic on his way to open a building at the University of Oxford.

Brent felt it was ironic that his company which is a Prince’s Trust Greater Manchester supported business, played a part in helping the Prince of Wales on his way. 

As well as police cars, Action Media Hire also hire police uniforms and equiptment and uniformed police dogs.

Brent started the company in October last year and has already hired his cars to several music video and TV productions, such a music video for Brit award winning rapper, Little Simz.