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?