Police in London are looking for two men who gained access to a woman’s flat in east London while pretending to be officers searching for drugs.
The fake cops were kitted out with police-style caps, batons, “police” lanyards, covert body harnesses and dark blue clothing when they entered the woman’s home in Tower Hamlets.
But when she asked for ID and started filming them, they walked away, with one of the men pretending to speak into a radio, before eventually fleeing on foot.
The Metropolitan Police have appealed to the public to identify the men. “We are aware of a video circulating on social media filmed in east London appearing to show two men impersonating police officers. A woman reported that two men had attended her address. They were claiming to be police officers and were dressed in crude uniform including caps, harnesses and 'asps' (batons) and said they were there to search the property,” a spokesperson said.
“They were initially allowed in before the residents became suspicious and asked to see their identification, which they could not produce. It is not believed that anything was stolen from the address and there were no reports of any physical injuries.”
The Met said it is already aware of people pretending to be police officers in order to defraud people of money. Fake cops appear to be on the rise across the UK, with fake police gear easy and cheap to buy online.
Last week, just days after the sentencing of Met Police officer Wayne Couzens for murdering Sarah Everard, a man was jailed for 22 weeks for impersonating a police officer after trying to “arrest” a woman in Barrow, Cumbria. Gary Shepherd, 44, wore a fake police lanyard and accused the woman of selling drugs. But after the woman shouted for help, he was challenged by a member of the public and ran off.
Earlier this month two men were arrested for impersonating a police officer after being spotted in Manchester wearing fake police uniforms and carrying radios.
In April a man driving a car with blue lights and a siren persuaded a woman to pull over on a Saturday night in Gloucestershire. When he got out of the car she noticed his uniform looked fake, “similar to a fancy dress outfit purchased from a party shop with a flimsy hat”. She drove off and after following her, he turned off.
In March three people posing as police officers conned their way into a house in Croydon, south London, claiming they were investigating tax evasion and money laundering. The men, wearing police caps and holding fake warrant cards, made off with £20,000.
In February police in Bedfordshire warned about fake officers trying to scam people out of their savings after turning up at their homes