Clearly breaking the law, a policewoman talks into her iPhone behind the wheel of her patrol car.
The officer was snapped by a passer-by – who also saw her change gear while still holding the device.
At one point she has neither hand on the wheel. Aware she was being photographed, the unnamed policewoman reportedly rolled down her window and told the passerby to delete the images.
The incident, which took place last week in a busy street in Wood Green, North London, comes after the Daily Mail successfully campaigned for tougher penalties for those caught using their mobile behind the wheel.
The Metropolitan Police has now launched an investigation after safety campaigners called her ‘irresponsible’.
A spokesman for Road safety charity Brake said: ‘Using your mobile device while driving is foolish and incredibly dangerous no matter where you are or who you are.
‘It’s extremely disappointing to see a police officer acting so irresponsibly and quite clearly breaking the law.
‘Using a mobile at the wheel significantly increases your risk of being involved in a crash and seriously injuring or killing yourself or other road users.’
Road Peace, which supports crash victims, added: ‘Research shows using a mobile phone at the wheel is as dangerous as drink-driving – and you don’t expect police officers to drive with alcohol in their system.’
John O’Connor, a former Flying Squad commander, branded the behaviour ‘outrageous’ and called for her to be disciplined.
‘She should be setting an example on safety, particularly after recent fatalities by drivers using phones,’ he said.
Abdul Mohamed, 28, who took the pictures of the officer, told The Sun: ‘She had a phone in her right hand and moved into first gear with her left. I noticed she was making a call. I could see it was on speaker.’
The 28-year-old added: ‘She wound the window down and told me to delete the pictures.
‘But she shouldn’t be able to get away with this. If she caught me, I’d be done for it, no doubt.’
A Scotland Yard spokesman said it has launched a probe.
In September, research by the RAC revealed that almost a third of motorists confessed to using a mobile without a hands-free kit.
Almost half admitted to doing so while in stationary traffic, which is still illegal.
The RAC said the findings illustrated an ‘epidemic’ of drivers using their phones at the wheel.
Ministers have pledged to crack down on mobile phone drivers following a hard-hitting campaign by the Mail.
Motorists caught using their phones will receive six penalty points instead of three and a £200 fine from next year.