Police warrant card holders like that used by Wayne Couzens to snatch Sarah Everard are shockingly for sale online
OFFICIAL police identity kit like that used by killer cop Wayne Couzens to snatch Sarah Everard is for sale for a few pounds online.
We found Met lanyards, handcuffs, jackets, tactical vests and belts all freely available.
Replica warrant card holders are sold on Amazon and eBay, as are genuine Met badges which could be glued to them.
Couzens used his Met-issue warrant card to trick Sarah into thinking she had broken Covid rules.
Video tutorials, found with a Google search, explain how to make realistic-looking cards.
We bought items using a real name and contact details and without proof of being a police officer or having a legitimate purpose for them.
Tory MP Nigel Mills said last night: “It’s a sickening situation that this amount of material and equipment is freely available to buy.
“It’s an online playground for anybody that wanted to copy Couzens and use the apparent power of being an officer to rape or murder.
“It’s the first place they’re going to look. I’m very worried.
“Why has someone got a Met Police printed lanyard for sale on there with a card holder?
“When you think of what Couzens did these things are chilling.
“These clearly are not going to be for children’s fancy dress. They could be easily used to fulfill the depraved desires of people out there.”
Former Nottinghamshire Chief Constable Sue Fish added: “Impersonating a police officer is a criminal offence — and utterly repellent.
“One could be quite convincing with this equipment. The police have to be trusted for them to do their job. Maybe these online firms will want to look at their conscience.”
We bought a genuine, branded Met lanyard for £6.99 on Amazon.
A Close Protection officer ID card holder and lanyard is being sold for £26.99.
It could easily be mistaken for a genuine warrant card.
An obsolete police warrant card was available on eBay for £80 via seller lethalfunnyguy.
And a “genuine leather police and security warrant card ID holder” was bought, while Met Police badges, which could be glued on to it, are also available for just £4.99. Handcuffs were bought on Amazon for £18.95.
Realistic police belts, like the one Couzens used to strangle Sarah, are available on other sites for £26.99.
Sources say organised criminals in the Midlands are producing warrant cards for £100 so they can pose as officers to infiltrate rival gangs.
And there are fears the IDs of neighbourhood police, whose details are publicly available, could be cloned and put on kit.
Ex-Met detective Peter Bleksley said: “All the gear is incredibly realistic.
These items would allow serious criminals to commit serious crimes against vulnerable people.
“How many people presented with ID from a police officer would know which bits to look out for?
“The websites hosting these sales need to pull them or be shut down.”
Couzens got a whole-life term last week for murdering Sarah in March.
The Met is under huge pressure for failing to vet him properly and his links to alleged flashing incidents.
The force said of our probe: “We are aware that a number of items of Met memorabilia and merchandise are available to be purchased online.
“While many are collector items and bought by people with an interest in policing, we remind the public that it is a criminal offence to impersonate a police officer.
“Officers always carry a warrant card featuring photographic identification and will always produce it when asked. They are used to providing that reassurance.”
EBay said: “eBay does not permit the listing of items that may be used to impersonate police or emergency service personnel.
"Our teams work around the clock to review and remove anything which may not have been caught by our filters.
“Any seller found to be in breach of our policies will have their listing removed, and appropriate action will be taken against their account.”
Rape case overhaul
RAPE victims are being promised a fairer hearing in court under moves to stop defence lawyers digging up dirt on them.
Ministers want to limit the private information that can be presented in court to stop suspects mudslinging to get off.
Under current rules, defence lawyers can order the victim to disclose texts and emails dating back years — and use them to discredit their case in court.
But a senior government source said: “It seems wrong that over-friendly messages with another person or perhaps a text to obtain drugs must be handed over.
“It’s clear that in some cases, the prospect of this information being presented in open court is enough to make the victim drop the charges.”
The action follows a fall in rape convictions to a record low. Last year, just 1,439 suspects were convicted of rape or lesser offences despite an estimated 128,000 victims.
New Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has called for all the data on when and why cases collapse.
His appointment has increased MPs’ expectations of a new law and order crackdown — with the support of Home Secretary Priti Patel and Attorney General Suella Braverman.
An ally said: “They will make a powerful trio and will take co-ordinated action to put this right.”
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