IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

All change for Met Police ID over fake badges

Officers across the capital to get high-tech cards after reports of counterfeits being sold online

26 February, 2021 — By Bronwen Weatherby

One of the fake badges which have been sold online

EVERY officer in the Met Police needs their badge replaced amid concerns over fake versions sold online, the Tribune can reveal.

The warrant cards are used as proof of identification and include a photograph of the holder as well as their name, rank, warrant number and a holographic emblem to mark authenticity.

They are used by more than 40,000 officers in the capital, but there have been concerns at Scotland Yard about reports of counterfeits now being sold on the internet. Anyone found using a fake warrant card could be charged with false repres­entation and imperson­ating a police officer.

More high-tech cards are now being developed and officers have been photographed for the upgrade, although it is understood they have not yet been told what they will look like.

The cost of the project is upwards of £650,000 according to plans approved by the Mayor of London’s office.

Police have previously advised residents on how to spot fakes from genuine cards, including asking people to check for the signature of com­missioner Cressida Dick.

The Tribune understands the replace­ment will include a new electronic chip, while the “smart cards” may give better access to transport hubs and police build­ings, and hold encrypted data on the individual officer. One officer said: “The rollout is to do with security concerns but I think it’s also just time for an upgrade.”

A Met Police statement said: “The Met constantly reviews its physical, electronic and personnel security infrastructure so that we can take advantage of the latest technology to best protect the public, our officers, staff and informa­tion.

“As part of our ongoing review process, all warrant cards [issued to police officers] and ID cards [issued to other police personnel] are being upgraded this year.”

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