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Marty McFly

Fake US Police Badge/ID in the UK

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Marty McFly

Scenario:

You stop someone in London for a minor offence, say fare evasion or cycling through a red light on a Boris bike. 

The person is an American tourist, and produces a US Police/Federal Agent Badge and asks for some "professional courtesy", let's say to avoid getting dragged down that route you were planning on giving him a verbal warning regardless before he produced the badge once you verified his details and ran them through the box.

He doesn't look or act like a stereotypical US police officer, his body language is off and is hesitant when you ask simple questions out of curiousity he should know. You decide to make some enquiries with the relevant department in the US he purports to work for as you suspect he is not legit, and find out he is not a Police Officer/Agent as he claimed.

What offences does he commit?

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Chief Cheetah

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Police Community Team

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Beaker

Would S90 still apply here? It doesn't specify that an impersonator has to claim they're a member of a UK force.

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Mazza

I don’t think S90 would apply and here’s my logic. The crime of impersonating a police officer to me implies that the accused would be impersonating a police officer with jurisdiction, otherwise there is no gain for the accused in impersonation. In this case there is no jurisdiction so I’m not sure there would be impersonation HOWEVER

Has the person been or will they commit an offence under US Legislation if they are in possession of that document? Can their identity be verified? What have they been using that false document for? Not sure what English laws apply but in Scotland could it constitute a fraud or forgery/uttering?

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Sceptre

It's not impersonation under S90 as the offence talks of impersonating a member of a police force or a special constable, both precisely defined phrases which doesn't include foreign law enforcement. It may well be fraud though, as he has dishonestly made a false representation intending to make a gain for himself by keeping the money he would otherwise had to pay in a fine. 

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Mac7

I thought that the evidence required for someone to be found guilty of an impersonation offence to be quite high. Don’t quote me on that but I believe it has to be way more than someone producing an ID card and saying their a police officer. Granted this won’t apply in this case but it’s more of a general observation.

 

There are offences, I believe under the immigration act or ID documents act (or similar sounding legislation) that make it an offence to be in possession of a fake ID document.

 

Like most things it comes down to circumstances and proportionality. It sounds like he is trying it on much the way many of our service users try it on. If everything checks out (remember you can conduct immigration checks at the roadside) then it would be words of advice and away you go.

 

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Sceptre

There are, but a fake warrant card or police badge doesn't meet the definition of an identity document

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Chaos

Possession of articles to commit fraud? Why else would he be in possession of a US police badge?

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Mac7
Possession of articles to commit fraud? Why else would he be in possession of a US police badge?


What fraud?

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Chaos


What fraud?
I have no idea... Lol but it's all I can think of at the moment... It Could be used, like any fake ID be used in the connection of fraud...

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Mac7

I can see where you are coming from but any fraud related offence regarding this scenario is a non starter for me.

I can’t see any additional offences in this. I reiterate it would be words of advice and cut them loose from me. I doubt I would even deal with the red light aspect. It would not be a constructive use of police time especially in the current circumstances.

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Chaos
I can see where you are coming from but any fraud related offence regarding this scenario is a non starter for me.

I can’t see any additional offences in this. I reiterate it would be words of advice and cut them loose from me. I doubt I would even deal with the red light aspect. It would not be a constructive use of police time especially in the current circumstances.
Agreed.... I think an Intel report would be best placed... And if this produces any red flags as a result, then it can be best dealt with further down the line.

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Sceptre
19 hours ago, Mac7 said:

What fraud?

He's dishonestly made a false representation by producing the badge and claiming to be a law enforcement agent, in order to escape a fine and thus make a gain by keeping money he already has. If nothing else it's sufficient to seize the badge from him using stop and search powers, so he can't do it again. 

Dealing with the red light would probably be harder as I'm not sure graduated fixed penalties can be issued for cycling offences.

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Mac7
He's dishonestly made a false representation by producing the badge and claiming to be a law enforcement agent, in order to escape a fine and thus make a gain by keeping money he already has. If nothing else it's sufficient to seize the badge from him using stop and search powers, so he can't do it again. 
Dealing with the red light would probably be harder as I'm not sure graduated fixed penalties can be issued for cycling offences.



That’s stretching it a bit far isn’t it? He’s made a gain by not loosing anything? I don’t see how his actions come anywhere near a fraud offence.

What power are going to seize the card under?

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Sceptre
13 minutes ago, Mac7 said:

That’s stretching it a bit far isn’t it? He’s made a gain by not loosing anything? I don’t see how his actions come anywhere near a fraud offence.

S5(3) Fraud Act: “Gain” includes a gain by keeping what one has, as well as a gain by getting what one does not have.

13 minutes ago, Mac7 said:

What power are going to seize the card under?

He's in a public place, stop and search him for prohibited articles for use in frauds and seize it under S1 PACE

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