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SELLING AND BUYING POLICE INSIGNIA & UNIFORM

IS NOT ILLEGAL

The selling and buying of Police Insignia and Uniform, is not illegal if it was obtained lawfully and is possessed for a lawful purpose. The collecting of such items is a lawful purpose.

 

The relevant sections of law are reproduced below:

 

Police Act 1996 - Section 90

(2)Any person who, not being a constable, wears any article of police uniform in circumstances where it gives him an appearance so nearly resembling that of a member of a police force as to be calculated to deceive shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

 

(3)Any person who, not being a member of a police force or special constable, has in his possession any article of police uniform shall, unless he proves that he obtained possession of that article lawfully and has possession of it for a lawful purpose, be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 1 on the standard scale.


(4)In this section—
(a)“article of police uniform” means any article of uniform or any distinctive badge or mark or document of identification usually issued to members of police forces or special constables, or anything having the appearance of such an article, badge, mark or document.

 

Cooke v. DPP 2015 (High Court)

In October 2015, Ronald Cooke's case was heard before Lord Justice Beatson and Mr Justice Mitting at London's High Court. The director of public prosecutions argued he had failed to establish that he had obtained the articles for a lawful purpose as he had not monitored or controlled their sale.

Allowing Mr Cooke's appeal, Mr Justice Mitting said "There was nothing to be found in section 90(3) of the Police Act to that effect".

The judge asked: "What is the seller required to do to reduce risk?"


The judge said "section 90(3) did not provide answers, and it was an area of law which might require "more detailed regulation which can only be provided by Parliament".

 

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