Bikers wrongfully charged over polite vest

Motorcyclist Darren Emanuel, 47, an independent financial consultant, has been a biker for many years and was riding his white, ex-police BMW R1200RT when he was stopped by a police officer who had seen him from the opposing carriageway.

The officer concluded that Emanuel was trying to impersonate an officer

After the officer checked the bike over, he then turned to the clothing choice of Emanuel. At the time, Darren was wearing his “Polite Think Bike” vest and a white helmet. Combined with the look of his motorcycle, the officer concluded that Emanuel was attempting to impersonate an officer. The officer made notes and sent Darren on his way.

Only after Emanuel later made a complaint to the police about his treatment was he called into a police station about the incident. He was then charged with wearing a police uniform, which was calculated to deceive, and the case went to court.

Darren was ordered to pay costs

The court saw that Darren was not attempting to deceive the public, but was ordered to pay £670 in costs.

The story was then blown out of proportion by the media, and even people from other countries heard of Darren’s story.

“I had friends in other countries who read about it,” Emanuel said. “After the news of the conviction appeared online, my job contract wasn’t renewed, and my landlord served a notice on my house.”

‘Polite’ vests have since come under intense scrutiny. However, a Met Police spokesperson exclaimed back in 2013 that “It does not look like a police uniform. It is merely a high visibility jacket, so it would not be illegal.”

Despite appealing against the conviction, the damage had been done

Emanuel successfully appealed the conviction two weeks later, but the damage was already done. Following his appeal, Emanuel took out a libel case against the newspapers and websites he says it defamed him, which was later settled out of court, however, many of those publications have refused to print corrections, and Emanuel says he remains out of pocket.

He expressed: “While these items of clothing are perfectly legal, wearing one caused me a great deal of trouble, anxiety, expense, loss of my home and loss of work’.

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Police are now fighting off-road motorcycling with drones

A neighbourhood team based in Worksop have decided to take it upon themselves to tackle nuisance off-road bikers. Working alongside a local drone training company the team decided to revolutionise the way they address crime.

The drones were donated by SalusUAV

SalusUAV donated the drones to the team. During the test operation, local officers learnt how to manoeuvre the aircraft in the sky. The team hopes that implementing new technology such as drones will help officers be more efficient in identifying criminals quicker.

The drones use onboard cameras to identify issues swiftly

During training, officers were able to fly drones into the air and track individuals using built-in cameras relaying information back to a screen. This meant that the officers could cover more distance than their patrolling officers.

When no issues were identified, the team can quickly move the drone on. What would usually take officers an hour, only took 10 minutes

Drones allowed police to tackle woodland fire early on

During practice, officers managed to locate an area of woodland which had been set alight. As a result, they were quickly able to deploy officers to extinguish it swiftly. The use of drones isn’t the first time the police have used new inventive measures to help tackle crime. Last week it was announced Wrexham police have decided to try out a new DNA spray.

The trial was a success

The team of officers concluded that the trial event was a success. It has allowed local police to understand how technology can help make the force more effective. The team was made up of six local officers, a professional drone pilot and four members of a motorcycle team who acted as the dummy targets.

Neighbourhood Police Sergeant Kate Long said:

“The operation was a great success and has opened our eyes to how effectively we could work to combat rural crime by utilising this technology. It was great to work with SalusUAV and we’d like to thank the local company for offering up their services. Nuisance bikers need to be aware that we’re going to crack down on the issue any way we can and we’ll be looking to use drones in this way in the near future.”