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Impersonating a police officer?

_Jon__Jon_ Posts: 366
edited November 2016 in Commuting chat
I've recently started commuting to work again after a 3 year break. It's reminded me how invisible you can sometimes feel on the road with some drivers failing to give way to you or passing too close. This got me thinking about what could make me more 'visible' and one way I've though of is buying a fluorescent jacket that resembles one a police office might wear (bright yellow with chequered pattern). Something like this-

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/311626695370?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&var=610563014236&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

But, even though I wouldn't be doing it for any criminal intent (only to make me safer on a bike), do you think this might be construed as impersonating a police officer? Wearing a fancy dress police uniform isn't illegal and there is already a cycle jacket on the market called 'polite' that does a similar thing and is backed by the police but I'm still slightly concerned as the main aim would be to make people thing (at least initially) you were a police officer and therefore pass you more carefully.

I've read that a study showed the 'polite' jackets actually made people pass more aggressively in some instances but I think that's because people don't tend to like notices that start with the words 'polite notice' or being told what to do.

Maybe I'd be better getting one that looks like a police jacket but without the chequered pattern.

Posts

  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Get one if you like. It might have a marginal effect but assume that people haven't seen you and you won't go far wrong.
  • _Jon__Jon_ Posts: 366
    cougie wrote:
    Get one if you like. It might have a marginal effect but assume that people haven't seen you and you won't go far wrong.

    It's more a problem with people who have seen you but act as if you're not there.
  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 4,625
    Horse riders and motorcyclists often wear those jackets with POLITE on the back of them.
    Not sure if it has any effect on safety or not.
  • But clearly you'd be giving a sh¦t about motorists poor driving so clearly not a police officer. It's a very solid defense.
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  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,992
    Horse riders and motorcyclists often wear those jackets with POLITE on the back of them.
    Not sure if it has any effect on safety or not.

    I seem to recall a study that showed that on average (can't remember the test critera - but helmets, wigs, and distance from kerb were varied as well) those cyclists wearing a POLITE top resulted in closer passes..

    Edit - think it's this one: http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/2013/11/26/o ... -cyclists/
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
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  • Horse riders and motorcyclists often wear those jackets with POLITE on the back of them.
    Not sure if it has any effect on safety or not.

    I seem to recall a study that showed that on average (can't remember the test critera - but helmets, wigs, and distance from kerb were varied as well) those cyclists wearing a POLITE top resulted in closer passes..

    Edit - think it's this one: http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/2013/11/26/o ... -cyclists/
    Didn't a previous study recommend wearing a long, blonde wig?

    Edit: http://www.bikebiz.com/news/read/want-t ... -lid/01171
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Any excuse for dressing up eh UE ?
  • fenix wrote:
    Any excuse for dressing up eh UE ?

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  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368
    Im convinced they only ever worked with people riding sit up and beg style BMW touring motorbikes with white fairings, though frankly the only times I ever see a copper on a motorbike thesedays is when they are riding round in front of or following behind on pro cycling stages.
  • _Jon__Jon_ Posts: 366
    After reading this (section 90 of the police act 1996), it's probably not worth doing.
    Impersonation, etc.

    (1)Any person who with intent to deceive impersonates a member of a police force or special constable, or makes any statement or does any act calculated falsely to suggest that he is such a member or constable, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or to both.
    (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,
    [F163(aa)“member of a police force” includes a member of the British Transport Police Force,] and
    (b)“special constable” means a special constable appointed for a police area.

    Oh well, plan b it is. Anyone know where I can get a blonde wig? :)
  • ben-----ben----- Posts: 573
    Plenty of "'ello, 'ello 'ello"s might help.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    You'd be fine with a Polite vest.

    Unless you go the whole hog and start driving around in a police car.

    I've seen a few people wearing them.
  • _Jon__Jon_ Posts: 366
    (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,

    It's the bits in bold that makes me think wearing the one I linked to on ebay wouldn't be allowed. It was an ex-police jacket and part of the uniform. Although it does have badges etc removed, it still has the chequered markings that everyone associates with the police.

    I don't really want the 'Polite' one because as I've said, I think it might be the instructional tone of the message that causes some drivers to pass more aggressively when they see it whereas the one on ebay has no message on it.
  • dhopedhope Posts: 6,699
    Just buy the thing, the police don't have a monopoly on blue and white check and you're not going to be accused of impersonating an officer.
    It's a bit of trim on a yellow jacket while you're riding a bike, not a forged badge and uniform :roll:
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  • _Jon__Jon_ Posts: 366
    dhope wrote:
    Just buy the thing, the police don't have a monopoly on blue and white check and you're not going to be accused of impersonating an officer.
    It's a bit of trim on a yellow jacket while you're riding a bike, not a forged badge and uniform :roll:

    So what you're saying is you don't think I'll become the Ronnie Biggs of the cycling world? :)

    I do have a tendency to overthink things (you'd never have guessed!)
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Deffo overthinking. Hardly anyone will read the words anyway and I cant imagine anyone reacting adversely to Polite...
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Putting 'Polite' on it could well be an attempt to decieve.

    As it stands I see no issue with the ebay item linked it - its a hi-vis jacket that has some reflective checker material, it has no badges or wording that appear (or could attempt to look like it's appearing) to be the Police.

    If the Police didn't want it to be worn they wouldn't sell it!
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368
    It's the 'intent to deceive' bit that's key, there was a bus driver recently who was charged for it because he was wearing a police (as in the band) lanyard, and he'd stopped his bus and gone and spoken to a driver he'd seen using their mobile phone whilst driving and they reported him to the police who then took him to court, though he was cleared in the end it was a lot of grief to go through,strangely they never seemed to follow up on the mobile phone user

    http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/crime/man_c ... _1_4681361
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