Scotland Yard has launched an investigation after a viral video emerged showing two men impersonating police officers trying to break into a house in east London.
Responding to the clip on Thursday, Metropolitan Police He made a statement stating that they were aware of the images circulating on social media taken in the East. London appears to show two men impersonating police officers”.
The video, taken by one of the residents, shows two men dressed in what looks like police uniforms standing at the door of an apartment.
The men, wearing police caps, harnesses, purple disposable gloves, and dark clothing, appear to have attempted to break into a home in a residential block in Shaftesburys in Barking.
A woman begins filming the encounter and is heard repeatedly asking the men for their identity.
The couple refuses, claiming they don’t need to show one.
He says, “Show me your ID, show me your ID… get into my house, show me it’s safe.”
While filming, both men try to hide their faces, while one tries to get the woman’s phone before pulling out the baton.
Then the men start to leave, the woman continues to pull them as they walk down a hallway and up a flight of stairs in the building.
Then the woman says: “This is how the misunderstanding enters my house. You sound like a terrorist.
“I told you to explain… you broke into my house.”
The woman and another unseen man follow the couple out of the building and down the street.
One of the men uses a walkie-talkie to ostensibly call for support, tags the residents as aggressors and accuses them of selling marijuana.
He speaks to the radio and says, “He follows me on the road.”
Danny Page and Sarah Wright live in the same apartment as their children.
“It’s a bad thing,” Danny told Sky News reporter Emma Birchley.
“It’s horrible… especially about what’s going on with the police right now. You trust the police.”
Sarah described her decision to film the boys as “very brave” but said she wouldn’t do it as a mother of young children.
“You wait for security when the police arrive,” said Philomena Coleman, sitting in the corner.
“It’s really wrong of them to act like the police. They obviously have ulterior motives.”
He also described the actions as “brave”.
“Doing that would scare them,” he added.
Sid, 54, of a nearby Victorian bar and who has lived in Barking all his life, described what she did as the “right thing”.
“Crime happens every day in Barking these days,” he said.
“People live in fear around here. After a while, they don’t go out… A town you don’t go to.”
In a statement, Scotland Yard said: “Police were called to a residential block at The Shaftesburys, Barking IG11 at 6:51pm on Tuesday 12 October.
“A woman reported that two men had arrived at her address. She said they were there to search the property, claiming to be police officers and dressed in rough uniforms such as caps, harnesses and an ‘asp’ (baton).
“Before residents became suspicious, they were allowed in and asked to see any identification they could not show.
“The suspects left the address upon further questioning. They were followed and fled in the direction of Abbey Road.”
Police said that the police searched the area but two people were not found.
No physical injuries were reported, and police said they do not believe anything was stolen from the address.
The force added that the investigation is ongoing and there are no arrests at the moment, but they have called to speak to the two men in the picture.
“Unfortunately, there have been instances where scammers posed as police officers, both in person and on the phone, to trick people into giving them personal information and defrauding them,” the police said.
“If one of our officers contacts you in person, they will show you the police warrant card. This is proof of their identity and authorization.”