Scotland Yard is investigating after a viral video turned out to show two men resembling police officers trying to break into a home in east London.
Responded to the clip Thursday, the Metropolitan Politi issued a statement that they are aware of the footage “circulating on social media filmed in the east London appears to show two men imitating police officers “.
In the video, filmed by what appears to be one of the property’s occupants, two men can be seen dressed in clothes resembling police uniforms and standing in the doorway of an apartment.
The men – who were wearing police caps, braces, purple disposable gloves and dark clothes – appear to have just tried to enter the home of a block of flats in Shaftesbury’s in Barking.
A woman begins filming the meeting and may be repeatedly heard asking the men for their identification.
The couple refuses with one claiming they are not required to show one.
“Show me your ID, show me your ID … to get into my house, show me it’s safe,” she says.
Both men can be seen trying to hide their faces while filming while trying to grab the woman’s phone before pulling out a relay.
The men then begin to leave, going down a hallway and a staircase in the building while the woman continues to film them.
The woman then says, “Misunderstanding that comes into my house that way. You come in like a terrorist.
“I told you to explain … you went into my house by force.”
The woman and another man who cannot be seen then follow the couple out of the building and down the street.
One of the men uses a radio to apparently demand backup, marks the residents aggressively and accuses them of having sold cannabis.
He speaks into the radio and says, “She’s chasing me along the way.”
Danny Page and Sarah Wright live in the same apartment complex with their children.
“It’s a bad thing,” Danny told Sky News correspondent Emma Birchley.
“It’s scary … especially with what’s going on with the police at the moment. You put your trust in the police.”
Sarah described the decision to film the men as “very brave”, but said she would not do so as a mother of young children.
Philomena Coleman, who lives around the corner, said that “when the police come, you expect security”.
“It’s really wrong for them to pretend to be the police. It’s clear they have an ulterior motive.”
She also described the actions as “brave”.
“Doing so would have scared them,” she added.
In the Victoria pub near Sid, who is 54 and has lived in Barking all her life, she described what the woman did as “the right thing”.
“There are crimes every day in Barking today,” he said.
“People around here live in fear. They don’t go out after a certain time … It’s a no-go city.”
In a statement, Scotland Yard said: “Police were called at 6.5pm on Tuesday 12 October to a block of flats in The Shaftesburys, Barking IG11.
“A woman reported that two men had attended her address. They claimed to be police officers and were dressed in raw uniforms including caps, braces and ‘asper’ (batons) and said they were there to search the property.
“They were initially allowed to enter before the residents became suspicious and asked to see their identification, which they could not present.
“After being further challenged, the suspects left the address. They were followed and fled in the direction of Abbey Road.”
The force said police were conducting a search in the area but the two men were not found.
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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 underway and there have been no arrests so far, but appeals to talk to the two men pictured.
“Unfortunately, there have been occasions where scammers have acted as police officers, both in person and on the phone, to trick people into giving them personal information and scamming them for money,” police said.
“If one of our officers contacts you in person, they will show you their police record card. This is proof of their identity and authority.”