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WARNING - two men pretending to be police officers


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Hi


On Friday morning at about 9am, two police officers (in dress down) asked to see our back garden to get a sense of the lay of the land as we have a triangle of gardens behind us. They said this was because there had been an increase in burglaries in the ED area and they wanted to get a sense of how the gardens interconnected (escape routes etc). We checked their badges etc and then let them in.


The long and the short of all this is that they weren't police officers at all. We checked with Peckham, East Dulwich (and they made further enquiries with other stations on our behalf) and they had no one doing door to door for that reason (and would send uniformed police officers if they did). And in all honesty, I knew immediately after they left that it just wasn't right.


They were VERY convincing. I'm not easily fooled but we completely fell for it. So now, we're waiting to get burgled, or whatever it was they wanted. NOT a nice feeling.


The first one that does all the talking is probably 5'10''- 6', dark blond / mousey short hair with receeding hairline but 28 - 35 yrs old at a guess. The second one was shorter in height although broader in stature. Dark short hair with a side parting and had a Spanish (or something like that) accent. Very round face... almost circular. He was a lot less convincing when I asked him a question, but by that time, they were both already in the house, and I wasn't going to make a scene as my young daughter was here too.


They are VERY smooth, slick and say all the right things.


Two REAL policemen came and spent time with us this morning so we've told them everything and given them VERY detailed descriptions. I've no doubt we'll recognise them if we ever saw them again. And the Police gave us some excellent advice.


Anyway, I'm sure NO-ONE else here would be silly enough to let them in, but seriously, they were very good conmen.



p.s. our house now resembles Fort Knox and finally I have a good reason to persuade my husband that we should get a dog. Got to look on the bright side.

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Thanks everyone for your friendly comments *faith in human nature slowly restoring*.


Bawdy-nan, if you didn't report it to the Police, then please do. They said the more information they have on them, and the more witnesses they have, the more likely they are to identify them when they do do something worse than just checking out people's houses.


An update, I had a gruff sounding man come to the door at 6.30 this evening who said he was a window-cleaner who cleans for our neighbours, asking if I was interested. I shouted no thanks through the door and he was already going down the steps (I was on the phone and loudly said I wouldn't put the phone down or open the door). No mailer or contact card or anything. I spoke to my neighbours and this man hadn't called at any of their houses. So suspicions high again. I didn't see his face at all sadly. But more glad I didn't open the door.


SCSB79 - I'm in the ED end of the Bellenden Road area.

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Bawdy-nan, we were also told to check that nothing was missing. Whilst the first guy keeps you talking, the second carefully removes some of your belongings - any keys, any post that might have been lying around (particularly bank statements etc) as well as the obvious family silver. They won't want much if they're having to deal with you at the time, but anything can help them.
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From memory a police warrant card is slightly bigger than a travel pass wallet and dark blue/black in colour which opens up to show a large metal crest type badge (similar to the one on the front of a policeman's helmet but can't remember if it has a number at the bottom) That flips over and under it is a passport/driving license style photo id with name and other details of the officer.


I hope that makes sense. I don't work for the police so don't have one in front of me. This sounds really worrying though, a horrible experience.

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As Espelli says Police badges are dark leather wallets slightly bigger than a travel card wallet. They open book like - longer "spine" edge on the left (rather than top like a travel card). Once open the badge is on the left (metal) and there is a photo ofthe officer on the right. That is what Kent Police warrant cards look like, presume Met one's not dismiliar.


I think asking what station they are from and calling that station is the best bet!

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Police all have photo ID, travelcard size, and often keep it in a black wallet thing with a big shiny badge on. Every officer also has a specific officer number, that should be on both the badge and uniform (e.g. on the shoulder), and be part of a specific station.
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From now on, I won't let anyone in my house without telephoning their employer/base office first. Their ID was completely convincing (badge, photocard, black leather wallet, MET logo etc... But obviously, I didn't know what a proper one looked like to compare it to. Now I do though, having seen the real policemen's badges.


The traps in my house now resemble that 'Home Alone' film. Fortunately, Macauley Culkin is not present.

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Actually I do have some experience of police IDs - real and fake.


A couple of years ago I was stalked. It was a very bad affair and the pair of them were caught and prosecuted. I won't go into details as it really was bizarre and pretty unpleasant at the time. As part of my "stalking" someone was sent to my house and pretended to be a police officer. I was shown fake ID and I felt something was wrong.


Here's the thing - the police take this VERY VERY seriously. It really pisses them off. If they catch anyone impersonating a police officer they will push hard for a prosecution.


One of the things I asked at the time was "what should you do if you're shown ID and you're not sure it's real". I was told that you should tell the "officer" that you're going to dial 999 to verify the ID. A real policeman won't mind one bit and will applaud you for your diligence, whereas a faker will say something like "don't do that it's wasting police time". Of course it's hard to do this if you're on your own but at least get their names, have them wait outside, and then phone 999. If they aren't real then they won't hang about.

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mmmmmm, many months ago, two 'non uniform' police knocked on my door to ask if they could get into my back garden as they were trying to make an arrest a few doors down and wanted to garden hop. I asked to see their id through the window which they happily did. I wasn't sure if it was real but because it was made of metal and had brail on it and was very worn I thought it looked too good to be fake. I nervously let them in. They went straight through to the back garden and were looking over the fence and even lifted a panel up. I actually locked the back door so they had to knock to get back through. They said that a colleague had managed to get through first from another garden so then they left. They seemed very nice, but like you I wasn't sure if I should let them in. I still think my two were genuine, but after reading these postings who knows!
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