Well, where to begin with this one?
A dis-grunt-led Steven Peers was arrested on suspicion of impersonating a police officer. He was in Manchester City Centre wearing a toy police officer’s hat, a pig mask and a hi-vis jacket.
Steven Peers said he has often donned the mock outfit to perform ‘comical parodies’ of Greater Manchester Police after becoming unhappy with how officers behaved during the Barton Moss anti-fracking protests.
He was reportedly filming sketches when he was stopped by an officer who asked questions about his outfit. He was arrested (without resistance so no need for a hambulance) detained for 8 hours and then bailed. The outfit was confiscated.
Peers huffed and puffed and said: ‘It’s ridiculous’…’ It’s just a parody making fun of GMP. I’ve dressed like this at Barton Moss, in front of Swinton police station and in front of the force HQ in Newton Heath. Other officers have laughed it off.’
What’s the offence?
Police Act 1996 s 90 created offences relating to the impersonation of a police officer:
(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.
We shan’t comment on which we think it is most likely he will be charged with – if at all – but all three offences are triable only in the Magistrates’ Court with only subsection (1) having a custodial sentence available.
We’re rather limited as to what we can say about this for obvious reasons, but we’ll certainly return to this as and when it pops up in the news.
Let’s hope he has a good brief to save his bacon (sorry-couldn’t resist). We would imagine that, given the pig mask, it is unlikely that a member of the public would have mistaken that for a genuine police officer.
A quick Google led me to these three idiots: