Darren Emanuel, 46, a London Banker was stopped by police while riding down Park Lane in London days after the London Bridge attack last June.
Over his police-style high-visibility jacket he was wearing a sleeveless jacket with the words: “POLITE notice Think Bike”. He was riding a BMW R1200RT motorcycle which previously belonged to the South Yorkshire police, and still carried much of the livery—including the black and white chequered pattern. The bike still carried the raised blue light, had a Royal Corps of Transport crest sticker on the front screen, and an ER crest below the rear number plate.
P.C. John Harding of the Metropolitan Police, however, had a different view:
“I think a person with a reasonable purpose looking in their rear view mirror would think that is an emergency service vehicle or a police motorcycle coming towards them
We police by consent in this country and we have a good relationship with the people and public in London and they facilitate our passage through the high traffic, knowing we’re are working and trying to keep London safe.
If you look at that in your rear view mirror, you would think that is a police motorcycle.
And police motorcycles will tell you what happens: they move out the way to allow us to carry out our work.”
The court found him guilty of the single count of “wearing a police uniform with intent to deceive”.
“In our view the police jacket together with the look of the vehicle combined to produce a look which a member of the public would be deceived into believing that you were a police officer performing his duty.
We accept that this offence had never been your intention to deceive, but that was the effect.
Particularly at this time it is really important that the public have confidence in the police. Your actions undermined that.”, said GRANT MCCROSTIE, THE MAGISTRATE CHAIR.
Emanuel, of Chalfont St Giles, Bucks, was given a 12 month conditional discharge, and ordered to pay £650 costs as well as a £20 victim surcharge.
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