UK Gov't Pressures Amazon Over Fake Police IDs in Wake of Sarah Everard Murder — Report
16:30 GMT 02.10.2021 (Updated: 15:24 GMT 28.05.2023)
Former London Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens was given a whole-life sentence on Thursday for kidnapping Sarah Everard on Clapham Common — under the guise of an off-duty arrest — before murdering her.
The UK government has reportedly asked Amazon to remove listings for phoney police ID wallets and badges from its website in the wake of London woman Sarah Everard's murder by an off-duty officer.
Political gossip website Guido Fawkes cited un-named official sources at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) saying the ministry had raised concerns with the e-commerce giant over listings for wallets and other items advertised as being identical to those used by police.
One item sold by the company "Blue Light Direct" is shown in images on the site containing a fake police warrant card and badge.
Guido pointed out that, while impersonating a police officer is a criminal offence in the UK, supplying the means to do so is not.
On Thursday, former London Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens was handed a rare whole-life sentence for the murder of Sarah Everard.
Couzens was a serving officer on the night he kidnapped Everard on Clapham Common on the pretext of arresting her — while off-duty and out of uniform — under emergency COVID-19 rules.
On Friday, Police Scotland warned the public of a spate of scam text messages, claiming to be from Amazon, asking recipients to call a phone number that re-directed to a police number for non-emergency and media enquiries. The line received up to 4,000 extra calls per day as a result.
Twitter users questioned the usefulness of the Met's advice, and asked if Amazon had complied with the BEIS request yet.
The force issued a statement the same day advising members of the public to seek "independent verification" of the identity of anyone approaching them claiming to be a plain-clothes police officer.
Um, how? What phone number do you call? There are a handful of police stations - would they drive you there? Check their ID? How would we know if it wasn't fake and if it isn't do we still do what they say? Come on.— Elaine Gale (@gale_elaine) October 1, 2021