MPS officers to receive new warrant cards amid rise in fakes available online
All officers serving with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) are to be issued with new warrant cards amid concerns over the growing number of highly convincing fake versions in circulation.
The current generation of warrant cards feature a photograph of the officer along with their name and rank, along with the force crest and a security hologram.
The new versions are expected to include electronic chips that store data about the cardholder along with a number of other security features. The new cards will also provide better access to secure buildings and transportation hubs.
The upgrade, already agreed by the Mayor of London’s office, will cost around £650,000.
Although anyone found using a fake warrant card faces being charged with impersonating a police officer, an offence that carries a maximum six-month prison sentence, such cards are widely available online.
Throughout the pandemic there has been a steady stream of cases in which members of the public have been duped into paying on-the-spot fines by criminals posing as police officers, many of whom carry fake ID cards.
A statement issued by the MPS said: “As part of a review of its physical and personnel security infrastructure, the Met is updating access equipment across its estate to take advantage of the latest technology and the added security features it provides.
“New warrant cards and access passes will be issued to all officers and staff. This process is underway.
“The decision to update access arrangements was not a response to a specific security concern but part of a continuously evolving assessment of how the Met can make the best use of available technology to protect the public, its officers, staff and information.”