The Norfolk firearms officer at the centre of the hit-and-run scandal knew he had amnesia before being involved in the crash, it can be revealed.

PC Karl Warren had criminal charges against him dropped after claiming a medical condition meant he had no recollection of the accident, which saw him drive into the back of another car at almost 50mph on the A146.

Eastern Daily Press: A Norfolk and Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Team (RAPT) vehicle crashing into the back of an Audi on the A146A Norfolk and Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Team (RAPT) vehicle crashing into the back of an Audi on the A146 (Image: Norfolk Constabulary)

Norfolk Police had refused to say whether the officer, a firearms specialist, or the force knew of this condition before the crash.

But a new report by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) discloses that he had already been diagnosed with memory loss.

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The bombshell revelation deepens the scandal engulfing Norfolk Constabulary.

It raises further questions over why PC Warren was permitted to continue as an advanced driver, responsible for dealing with armed incidents, high-speed pursuits and other potentially life-threatening emergencies, with the force still refusing to say if it was aware of his earlier diagnosis.

Clive Lewis, MP for Norwich South, said: "This is just the type of case that shakes public confidence in policing when the police are seen to have to be dragged kicking and screaming to do what they should have done on the first place.

“I hope there will now be no more resistance to the proper procedures taking place and being seen to do so.”

Eastern Daily Press: Norwich South MP Clive Lewis said the case had affected public trust in policingNorwich South MP Clive Lewis said the case had affected public trust in policing (Image: Newsquest)

He added: "I know that local police officers are under a lot of pressure at the moment and I would expect police to treat all incidents by taking care of their workforce as well as doing right by the public."

PC Warren was driving a BMW X5 marked vehicle when it crashed into the back of an Audi being driven by a Norwich woman at 49mph on the A146 Barnby Bends on March 5 last year.

He continued on his way, without stopping, and neither he nor his colleague PC Ryan Hargrave, who was a passenger, reported the crash at the time.

When Norfolk police later investigated the incident, PC Warren was charged with a series of criminal offences.

However, these were dropped after prosecutors accepted medical reports he had been suffering from an episode of transient global amnesia (TGA) so had no recollection of the crash or its aftermath.

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Police misconduct charges against him were also dropped, prompting a complaint from the female driver to the IOPC over the way Norfolk police had handled the case.

The watchdog has now ruled that the force had been wrong to not take disciplinary action against PC Warren, meaning he will now face gross misconduct charges.

Eastern Daily Press: Dashcam showing the woman driver indicating and pulling off the road following the collisionDashcam showing the woman driver indicating and pulling off the road following the collision (Image: Norfolk Constabulary)

Eastern Daily Press: The police BMW X5 armed response vehicle continues without stoppingThe police BMW X5 armed response vehicle continues without stopping (Image: Norfolk Constabulary)

The IOPC report, seen by this newspaper, says Norfolk Police had placed too much emphasis on “contradictory and conflicting” medical evidence.

While it does not discuss the medical evidence in detail, it does reveal this was not the first time PC Warren had suffered amnesia, stating he “did not obtain his diagnosis after this particular incident”.

Since the scandal first emerged, the EDP has repeatedly asked Norfolk Constabulary to confirm if the officer had reported experiencing amnesia before being involved in the hit-and-run crash and whether the force was aware of any previous reports.

However, the force has declined citing confidentiality. A Norfolk police spokeswoman said: “We don’t and will not discuss officers’ personal medical information. 

“However, more generally, we can confirm that only officers who pass the medical screening and assessments are declared fit to carry a firearm. 

“Wherever necessary, the Occupational Health clinicians will be made aware of all and any relevant medical factors. All firearms officers undergo regular fitness and health screening assessments.”

Eastern Daily Press: The crash involved a Norfolk and Suffolk roads and armed policing BMW X5The crash involved a Norfolk and Suffolk roads and armed policing BMW X5 (Image: Newsquest)


In seeking a review of the case the woman driver had specifically asked the police watchdog whether the officer had undergone regular medicals and whether his amnesia had been picked up.

The IOPC said the questions were “understandable” but they could only disclose limited details due to the sensitive personal information in medical reports 

However the IOPC report said Norfolk police investigators saw three separate medical reports from April, July and December 2022 that offered “different interpretations” about what specific condition PC Warren may have had.


The IOPC report author states: “I have been able to read the unredacted medical reports and records obtained by the force, and from doing so I can assure you that the various medical specialist evidence is consistent, in that PC Warren would have no memory of the incident, if he were suffering a TGA episode at the time.”

However, making the decision he had “no case to answer” Norfolk police's investigators had placed “great significance” on a comment in one report that he was not aware of his surroundings when he drove into the back of the other car.

Eastern Daily Press: The crash occurred on the A146 at Barnby Bends, between Beccles and LowestoftThe crash occurred on the A146 at Barnby Bends, between Beccles and Lowestoft (Image: Newsquest)

The IOPC said this report used the phrases “on the balance of probabilities” and “in my opinion” three times each.

“Although this is a highly qualified opinion, it is not a definitive statement of fact, and any disciplinary process may want to consider and balance that against the other contradictory comments made in the various medical reports and the other evidence gathered during the investigation,” the IOPC said.


Following the crash PC Warren was immediately placed on restricted non-operational duties and had his police driving and firearms permits revoked. His personal driving licence has since been removed by the DVLA on medical grounds.

He is currently working in an administrative “non-operational role” pending further medical assessment.

The IOPC said a disciplinary panel could look at his ability to report the crash after it occurred, and whether his passenger PC Hargrave questioning him in the immediate aftermath “should have reasonably prompted him to reflect on events”.

PC Hargrave is already facing a separate misconduct charge for not reporting the crash.