Groups of criminals sometimes pose as police officers, particularly in the central London area, in order to trick people and steal their money, credit cards and valuables. These individuals wear ordinary clothes and use fake Police IDs to search people and take what they can. If you are stopped by a police officer, ALWAYS ask to see their Police ID.
The ID card will always have:
Photograph of the officer
Metropolitan Police Service hologram
It is always worth remembering that police officers would rarely search visitors or tourists unless they suspected some wrong doing. Those that do search are likely to be wearing uniforms and must give you certain information. If you suspect the police officers is bogus, check their ID very closely and demand to see a policeman in uniform. Real police will never confiscate your private property especially money, credit cards and valuables in this manner.
Real Police officers have the right to stop and search anyone but will only do so if they If they think you’re carrying a weapon, drugs, stolen property, or articles to commit criminal damage, if there has been serious violence or disorder in the vicinity or as part of anti-terrorism efforts.
The police officer or police community support officer must explain why you are being stopped, A police community support officer must be in uniform. A police officer does not have to be in uniform but if they are not wearing uniform and they search you they must show you their warrant card.
The police who stop and search you must provide you with certain information including:
Their name and the station where they work (unless the search is in relation to suspected terrorist activity or giving his or her name may place the officer in danger. They must then give a warrant card or identification number)
The law under which you have been stopped
Why you have been stopped and searched
Why they chose you
What they are looking for
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