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Fake police try to gain entry to womans home in Barking

Police were called at 18:51hrs on Tuesday, 12 October to a residential block in The Shaftesburys, Barking IG11.

A woman reported that two men had attended her address. They were claiming to be police officers and were dressed in crude uniform including caps, harnesses and ‘asps’ (batons) and said they were there to search the property.

They were initially allowed in before the residents became suspicious and asked to see their identification, which they could not produce.

Upon being further challenged the suspects left the address. They were followed and fled in the direction of Abbey Road.

Officers attended and conducted an area search but the males could not be located.

It is not believed that anything was stolen from the address and there were no reports of any physical injuries.

An investigation is ongoing. There have been no arrests at this time.

Police would like to speak to the two men pictured.

Guidance on checking the identity of a police officer

Unfortunately, there have been occasions when fraudsters have posed as police officers, both in person and on the phone, to trick people into giving them personal information and defraud them of money.

If one of our officers contacts you in person, they’ll show you their police warrant card. This is proof of their identity and authority.

There is an air of crisis in British policing this weekend as it faces a great moment of reckoning.

Never have leaders felt that public trust is so low they have had to advise women to consider fleeing if they are uncomfortable when confronted by one of their own officers. But that is the aftershock of the appalling crimes of Wayne Couzens, who raped and murdered Sarah Everard while working for the Metropolitan Police, after kidnapping her in a fake arrest.

He was sentenced this week to a whole-life term in prison.

So what happens now? Well first there is no sign that ministers are going to make Dame Cressida Dick, the commissioner of the Met and the UK’s top officer, take the blame.

Despite repeated attempts to force Home Secretary Priti Patel’s hand, she has very publicly backed Dame Cressida by renewing her contract last month.

But questions now confront policing – and the difficulty its chiefs and ministers are having in answering them is why the crisis feels too deep.

Was Couzens’ ability to pull on the uniform a failure of the system? Is there a wider cultural problem? And how should police leaders and the government respond? Clearly, society is not filled with homicidal sex offenders.

But the fact is they do exist and it’s unarguable that they use deception to get themselves into positions of trust. In that context, Couzens’ ability to hide undetected within policing is similar to the dreadful story of the Soham murders almost 20 years ago – in which a suspected sex offender was able to work as a school caretaker.

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