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Impersonating a police officer?


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#1 gmb27

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 05:19 PM

Hi folks,

Heres a quick one more for interest than anything else. On a recent course a conversation came up about it being against the law to wear an item of clothing that would under normal circumstances mislead the public in to mistaking you for a police officer. This covered uniforms, badges etc.

This is pretty clear and understandable, but then why is it allowed for the highways agency to quite overtly design their vehicles to look at first glance exactly like those of UK police forces? Are they exempt from whatever law or legislation covers this?

Cheers

Gaz

#2 rosco

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 05:31 PM

Hi folks,

Heres a quick one more for interest than anything else. On a recent course a conversation came up about it being against the law to wear an item of clothing that would under normal circumstances mislead the public in to mistaking you for a police officer. This covered uniforms, badges etc.

This is pretty clear and understandable, but then why is it allowed for the highways agency to quite overtly design their vehicles to look at first glance exactly like those of UK police forces? Are they exempt from whatever law or legislation covers this?

Cheers

Gaz


I don't think that they are designed to overtly look like police officers - the non-yellow on the battenburg is a different colour and their HiViz, Yellow and Orange, is definitely not police. If people don't look carefully, that's their lookout, but there is no intention to deceive that I can see.

#3 ninetyone

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 09:54 PM

The battenburgs are fine, they're not blue. The legality of the colouring of battenburgs depends on whether they are retro-reflective or not. The way the law is written, anything that is designed to reflect light (most battenburgs) counts as a lamp, is included in the definition of 'special warning lamps' (ie blue flashing lights), and therefore can only be used by a vehicle allowed to show blue flashing lights. (Note that blue and yellow battenburgs are not illegal per se - this vehicle looks exactly like a police vehicle, but the battenburgs are not retro-reflective so there is no offence under RVLR, but impersonation is a different matter though...))

#4 MrGrumpy

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 11:26 PM

One of their intentions in their master plan is to provide a high visibility patrol to the motorway network, no one said you had to be a police officer to go on patrol. They say 'traffic officer' on their vehicles, as they are legally traffic officers (as per the new definition), the cars have highways agency on them, their uniforms have highways agency written on so their is no deception or dishonesty - they are advertising who they are and who they work for.

At first glance to me they are blindingly obvious, black/yellow - HATO, blue/yellow - Old bill....I can spot them from a mile away (and adjust my speed accordingly :prone: )...by using your point you could say the multitude of ambulance 4x4's about with green/yellow battenburg on at a glance look like police cars, but they definately don't to me.

#5 Corbs

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 10:41 AM

The battenburgs are fine, they're not blue. The legality of the colouring of battenburgs depends on whether they are retro-reflective or not. The way the law is written, anything that is designed to reflect light (most battenburgs) counts as a lamp, is included in the definition of 'special warning lamps' (ie blue flashing lights), and therefore can only be used by a vehicle allowed to show blue flashing lights. (Note that blue and yellow battenburgs are not illegal per se - this vehicle looks exactly like a police vehicle, but the battenburgs are not retro-reflective so there is no offence under RVLR, but impersonation is a different matter though...))

That car's driver must feel pretty stupid next to the real police.

And on the HATO point, there is no denying that we have all seen cars brake massively when they see one.

#6 HarryB

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 03:18 PM

That car's driver must feel pretty stupid next to the real police.

And on the HATO point, there is no denying that we have all seen cars brake massively when they see one.


I don't know if they feel stupid, but they often work along side the police clearing accidents, such as fuel tanker smashes, heavy recovery, motorsport recovery (BTCC) as well as normal recovery, along with forensic recovery and examination facilities, used by Kent, Essex and Met Pol. Not sure I agree with the blue portion, not illegal, just might give people the wrong impression..

Edited by HarryB, 05 April 2009 - 03:21 PM.


#7 Winkworth

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 01:51 PM

Their livery and colour scheme is rather odd.

Attached File  800px_HATO_Vehicle.jpg   82.86KB   126 downloads


I love the lettering on the bonnet HIGHWAY AGENCY TRAFFIC OFFICER (in reverse) for someone to see in their rear view mirror. How is anyone going to see that when a its placed flat and on the high up bonnet of a Land Rover Disco.

Edited by Winkworth, 09 April 2009 - 02:00 PM.


#8 SPD

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 02:49 PM

Their livery and colour scheme is rather odd.
Attached File  800px_HATO_Vehicle.jpg   82.86KB   126 downloads
I love the lettering on the bonnet HIGHWAY AGENCY TRAFFIC OFFICER (in reverse) for someone to see in their rear view mirror. How is anyone going to see that when a its placed flat and on the high up bonnet of a Land Rover Disco.

It is also in reflective red on the rear bumper. I have yet too see a Police car with 'Traffic Officer' sprawled over it. Even so, there is no issue with the design of the battenburg or the colour, the vehicle is used on Motorways and needs to be visable incase of an accident control function and some of thier staff are advanced Drivers anywayas some i have met are ex-job also.

#9 Winkworth

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 08:36 PM

It is also in reflective red on the rear bumper. I have yet too see a Police car with 'Traffic Officer' sprawled over it. Even so, there is no issue with the design of the battenburg or the colour, the vehicle is used on Motorways and needs to be visable incase of an accident control function and some of thier staff are advanced Drivers anywayas some i have met are ex-job also.



If they want something which stands out why did they choose those colours. Dyno Rod vans put that livery in the shade and the orange colour scheme which Leicestershire police use is also far superior and in particular their bikes are just awesome for visability.


Attached File  376974141_d2affd766e.jpg   139.23KB   86 downloads

Attached File  29102008031_640x4803.jpg   108.23KB   97 downloads

The Leicestershire police also use red & orange rear chevrons on their cars and vans which is a much bolder colour and stands out more as opposed to the normal yellow and red chevrons.

Anyway, should police have blue and red chevrons?

Edited by Winkworth, 09 April 2009 - 09:00 PM.


#10 SPOTTER_1

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 08:47 PM

I love the lettering on the bonnet HIGHWAY AGENCY TRAFFIC OFFICER (in reverse) for someone to see in their rear view mirror. How is anyone going to see that when a its placed flat and on the high up bonnet of a Land Rover Disco.


its for the helycopters to read in their down view mirror you see.... :prone: :D :)

#11 Winkworth

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 04:18 PM

its for the helycopters to read in their down view mirror you see.... :prone: :D :D


Thanks for the answer, it has given me quite a chuckle. :D

#12 Headset57

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 11:10 PM

Thanks for the answer, it has given me quite a chuckle. :prone:


It's actually for lorry drivers hi up in their cabs!.

#13 Alison

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 11:48 PM

its for the helycopters to read in their down view mirror you see.... :) :D :D


rofl :prone:

#14 Corbs

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 12:27 AM

Their livery and colour scheme is rather odd.

Attached File  800px_HATO_Vehicle.jpg   82.86KB   126 downloads


I love the lettering on the bonnet HIGHWAY AGENCY TRAFFIC OFFICER (in reverse) for someone to see in their rear view mirror. How is anyone going to see that when a its placed flat and on the high up bonnet of a Land Rover Disco.

From a lorry cab when alongside, it works perfectly.

Their livery is based on the battenburg developed by the home office scientific development branch after it was shown to be the most visible. Yellow and orange chevrons are chosen as they provide a good contrast.

#15 Lone Wolf

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 03:24 PM

Heres a quick one more for interest than anything else. On a recent course a conversation came up about it being against the law to wear an item of clothing that would under normal circumstances mislead the public in to mistaking you for a police officer. This covered uniforms, badges etc.


That's not strictly true, there must be an intent to deceive as well.

#16 Corbs

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 05:59 PM

That's not strictly true, there must be an intent to deceive as well.


No, there doesn't need to be intent to decieve, it just has to be likely to decieve (Shearer vs Turner)

#17 GMA79

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:24 AM

The battenburgs are fine, they're not blue. The legality of the colouring of battenburgs depends on whether they are retro-reflective or not. The way the law is written, anything that is designed to reflect light (most battenburgs) counts as a lamp, is included in the definition of 'special warning lamps' (ie blue flashing lights), and therefore can only be used by a vehicle allowed to show blue flashing lights. (Note that blue and yellow battenburgs are not illegal per se - this vehicle looks exactly like a police vehicle, but the battenburgs are not retro-reflective so there is no offence under RVLR, but impersonation is a different matter though...))


Not quite - battenburg is possibly considered to be an "optional side retro reflector", and under ther RVLR these can only be amber (or red towards the rear). Special warning lamp doesn't really come into it, since those emit a flashing light.

#18 Lone Wolf

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 08:20 AM

No, there doesn't need to be intent to decieve, it just has to be likely to decieve (Shearer vs Turner)


If you want to really start splitting hairs, I believe the legislation uses the word 'intent' but the caselaw stated that 'likely to deceive' can be regarded as the equivalent of having the requisite intent.

#19 Whopper MacBig

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 08:34 AM

I think we can get a bit precious about all things 'Police'. Isn't the point of the livery to be visible so as to avoid accidents, particularly when the vehicles can be stationary at the scene of an accident? That they end up looking something like police vehicles is sort of inevitable, but not the intention. Same motorway + same risk = similar livery.

#20 EX LNER

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 08:53 AM

I think we can get a bit precious about all things 'Police'. Isn't the point of the livery to be visible so as to avoid accidents, particularly when the vehicles can be stationary at the scene of an accident? That they end up looking something like police vehicles is sort of inevitable, but not the intention. Same motorway + same risk = similar livery.


Other livery would be just as effective. Look what's on AA vehicles. No one gets precious by all things Police but members of the public should not be deceived. Agreed?

#21 Corbs

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 01:21 PM

Other livery would be just as effective. Look what's on AA vehicles. No one gets precious by all things Police but members of the public should not be deceived. Agreed?


So what kind of livery do you think that HA should have gone for? I think they could have used the one they have on their incident support vans, but I don't object to the current one.

#22 GoneForgotten

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 04:23 PM

I think it's fine. If people think they're police vehicles then fine. If people mistake police vehicles for these things, they'll discover they're not when the blue lights go on.

#23 ninetyone

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 10:32 PM

Not quite - battenburg is possibly considered to be an "optional side retro reflector", and under ther RVLR these can only be amber (or red towards the rear). Special warning lamp doesn't really come into it, since those emit a flashing light.


You know what - I've read RVLR again and I don't know how I came to that conclusion! It was based on something I read on here ages ago though...

#24 EX LNER

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 11:59 AM

So what kind of livery do you think that HA should have gone for? I think they could have used the one they have on their incident support vans, but I don't object to the current one.


Probably the same as the Motorway Maintenance type people.

#25 Corbs

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 12:23 PM

Probably the same as the Motorway Maintenance type people.


From what I've seen they are generally just plain white with rear chevrons and a corporate badge. I was thinking maybe of this:
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