Londoner found guilty of impersonating a police motorcyclist

Darren Emanuel, 46 a London city banker, has been found guilty of deceiving the public by imitating a police motorcyclist. Mr Emanuel was caught riding a former police motorcycle (which still had the blue lights and authority stickers attached) on Park Lane in Mayfair in June 2017

Mr Emanuel was caught wearing a “Polite Think Bike” high visibility vest which has been sewn over a high visibility police jacket which still had features showing that you would only find on a police jacket, while riding his BMW R1200RT which used to belong to South Yorkshire police. The bike itself also had other markings making it easy to assume that he was a real police officer.

The banker had been advised when he appeared in Hendon Magistrates Court today, that he was charged with one count of wearing a police uniform with intent to deceive – a charge that he denied.

Mr Emanuel explained to the court that he bought the motorcycle and the jacket on eBay from a former policeman who was giving up motorcycling. The former officer advised Emanuel that he had ridden the bike without issue for years.

After a trial lasting 3 hours, the three magistrates present found Emanuel, of Chalfont St Giles, Bucks, guilty of the charge.

Sentencing Magistrate Chair Grant McCrostie said: ‘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.’

Emanuel was handed a 12-month conditional discharge, and ordered to pay £650 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

This may begin to change people’s opinions on the “Polite Think Bike” Vests – a topic of discussion that always divides bikers. While SMIDSY recognises that the circumstances are to an extreme, and not just a biker wearing a polite vest – though we would be interested to know if this would change the likelihood of you wearing your vest in future, or possibly swapping it for a standard hi vis?


13 Comments Add yours

  1. dave says:

    a polite vest is one thing (and no, i wouldnt, but its everyones individual choice) but this idiot was clearly pretending to be a cop. what if there was an accident or other incident nearby and he just rode off?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. SMIDSY says:

      Couldn’t agree more Dave, we are all for safety, and if high vis comes into that for you then great….though not sure where the polite notice should come into this.


  2. So, he was “charged with one count of wearing a police uniform with intent to deceive” and then the court said “We accept that this offence had never been your intention to deceive, but that was the effect.”. How do you convict of a crime involving intent while finding there was no intent?


    1. Derek X Rat says:

      The ‘intent’ in such cases is by no means clear cut and can vary from case to case. The ‘actus rea’ is clear from the circumstances, more difficult is establishing the mental intent the ‘mens rea’. The magistrates took the view that the circumstances of the offence was such that he intentionally found himself on a motorcycle in Park Lane in a ‘uniform’ and that was sufficient to justify a conviction using, no doubt, the fabled ‘ man on a Clapham omnibus’ analogy as to what he was doing and how such actions would be construed notwithstanding the innocence pleaded by the defendant. I don’t have immediate access to a law library and my LLB was in 1988 but, for what it is worth, these are my comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Azam Ali says:

    Riding a vehicle with blue lights and clearly maked POLICE is illegal and he was rightly charged. But I am keeping my ex police jacket with no police markings.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dougie Dickson says:

    Numpty pure n simple lol…


  5. Neil the Bluimp says:

    Undermining Public confidence in the Police ? REALLY ? Like the inability to response to crime with more than a crime number, rather than turn up, do some investigating and catch criminals, get back people’s stolen property/vehicles isn’t the real reason the public lack confidence.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ROY TYZACK says:

    It’s a bit naughty and confusing, showing that bike with this story as this is obviously just a photo of a Police bike and NOT the one that this man was riding. It doesn’t lessen his offence but just makes it look much worse.I think the POLITE jackets should be banned as there can be no other reason for wearing them other than to make the public think that it says POLICE, otherwise, why wear them.? Horse riders also wear them and they look exactly like Police jackets. They have even started putting chequered bands round their riding helmets.


  7. Paul Robinson says:

    Had he removed the force insignia and POLICE from the vehicle then NO offence would have been committed

    You can have full battenburg graphics but MUST NOT have police showing anywhere on the vehicle

    I have polite on my Old BMW (as i have ex police fairings) which is perfectly legal according to my high ranking neighbour


    1. Rainmaker says:

      Your ‘high ranking’ neighbour might wish to re-read the regulations if he’s a ‘high ranking police officer’ rather than a ‘high ranking tea maker’ or some such.
      The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 (as amended) and The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use)(Amendment)(NO.4) Regulations 2009 make it an offence for anyone other than police or similarly authorised agency to use the retro-reflective blue and yellow battenburg.
      Whether that’s with ‘Police’ wording or without is completely irrelevant. Green (eg ambulance colours) and red (eg fire appliance colours) are similarly protected in law.
      Your only choices are white (front of vehicle), amber/yellow (side of vehicle) or red (rear of vehicle, including the last 1 metre of the rearward sides). Non-reflective materials aren’t under the same restriction, but they could still fall foul of impersonation.
      Since you weren’t talking about non-reflective material and you specifically said an ex-police vehicle with the original stickers, this is clearly afoul of the legislation. In addition you also added the word ‘Polite’ to the machine. If not to give the impression of a police bike, then why? Seriously I’d love to hear the explanation. I can’t believe any constable (or above) in the UK would say a bike as you describe is ‘perfectly legal’.


  8. Peter says:

    If the magistrates said he had no intent to deceive they should have found him no guilty.


  9. Lee Griffin says:

    I suppose it’s one way of combatting motorbike theft in London


  10. Tim says:

    I ride a 1996 ex- Los Angeles Police Dept Kawasaki. It still has City Seals and Police and ‘to protect and to serve’ logos. I obscure the Police logo on the fairing when riding, but leave the ‘Police Kawasaki ‘ logo on the side panels as it is the manufacturers trademark. Riding a current UK Police operated machine with little modification is sure to annoy authority, and the Polite Notices are meant to cause a second glance by nervous drivers… I don’t think that lime green can be made an issue (visibility crusade) or chequering (Bobbies having dropped the duty armband), if blue lights are uncovered and you are not royalty, blood services, bomb disposal, coastguard, Fire, Ambulance or Forestry dah Rozzas will be upset. (Prime Minister’s limo has blues, which one is she covered by I wonder)


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