Support for law banning fake veterans wearing medals

Wearing medals which have not been legitimately awarded could soon be an offence
Wearing medals which have not been legitimately awarded could soon be an offence

Video : family on GWMH response Gillian Mackenzie

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BOGUS veterans wearing gallantry medals face being jailed or fined under a proposed new law.

A bill set for its second reading in the House of Commons proposes making it a crime for anyone deceiving people by wearing gallantry medals.

Somebody who portrays themselves as though they’ve won an honour presented by the Queen should be punished

Richard Dickson

The Awards for Valour (Protection) Bill wants a maximum prison term of six months for people convicted.

Richard Dickson, president of the Gosport and Alverstoke branch of the Royal British Legion supports the law.

He said: ‘Somebody who portrays themselves as though they’ve won an honour presented by the Queen should be punished. It’s not acceptable behaviour.

‘Whether they should be sent to prison or not, I think that’s a bit harsh but there should be some sort of punishment for somebody displaying at a civic or ceremonial event an award they’re not entitled to.’

It is currently a crime to pretend to have won a medal for financial benefit.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt backs the law and has spoken to Gareth Johnson MP, who proposed it.

Ms Mordaunt said: ‘I think people will be sympathetic towards it and feel it quite wrong that anyone would try and pass themselves off as the recipient of such medals if they weren’t. I also think it might strengthen the ability to take action against people who are carrying out this deception to commit fraud or another crime, and discourage people wearing them as fashion items.’

Ms Mordaunt said if the bill is not made into law, it will still raise awareness.

The law proposes ‘to prohibit the wearing or public display, by a person not entitled to do so, of medals or insignia awarded for valour, with the intent to deceive’.