AFP Versus the Internet

Real AFP

A meeting of the not-so-serious race team in preparation for the 2016 24HoursOfLeMons left us searching for a team name. I have registered the team as the Australian Fun Police on the Oz LeMons website, but apparently this is illegal; you are not allowed to impersonate or pretend that you are the real police. Fine, I can understand that. I can use the AFP acronym, but the P cannot be used for ‘Police’. Once again, no problems, even though the car will not be road registered, so cannot be confused with a real police car.

But then you enter the deep dark world of the world wide web and everything is turned on its head. I can legally purchase genuine AFP caps; yes, they are last year’s model. I didn’t realise that they change and I am sorry as a member of the public if I do not know whether the guy talking to me is wearing the up-to-date version. I can buy a genuine used police shirt; I can even purchase some old 3-4 digit police badges. Once again, I didn’t know by looking at them that these were classed as out of circulation. If I am stopped by someone dressed as a police officer, and they are wearing what seems to be correct uniform, I am not about to argue. When I posed these questions to the guy who was unlucky enough to answer the phone at the AFP offices, the answer was: “No, you cannot use the word ‘police’ on your car, but you can buy almost a full police uniform on the internet without breaking the law.” Go figure.