A current court case has thrown up an eBay policy which clearly isn’t working. A depot manager was pulled over in his car by men posing as police officers, then his wife and children were also kidnapped by more “police officers”. Â£53m was then stolen from the Securitas depot in Kent where he worked.
The Kent Police uniforms however were purchased from eBay despite eBay policy clearly stating that police related items are barred from sale on the site.
So how hard is it to kit yourself out as a copper? I went browsing to find out. First up an “ex Police high visibility reflective jacket” can be yours with bidding opening at just Â£4.99. The auction states that all police insignia have been removed, but hey it’s a start. Then we’ll need some patches, well again not a problem, lets emblazon the word “Police” on the back with a “reflective police badge” with bids starting from just Â£1.00. This appears to be a popular item selling for over Â£20.00.
Next I went hunting for the all important hat, now if I’m going to stop cars a traffic police hat would be great, and yes I found an “obsolete Traffic officer’s hat” (minus a badge) for just Â£50.00. A few other easily obtainable items and if I stood in front of your car on a dark February evening would you be taken in by the uniform?
Sure some items such as the fluorescent jacket could be used by many people in the course of their work, but in that case why is it described as ex-police in the auction? Either eBay’s Police Related Items policy is being flagrantly broken, or the policy is allowing items too similar to Police uniforms to be sold.