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Police-related items policy

Policy overview

With some exceptions, we generally don't allow listings for law enforcement badges or official law enforcement equipment from any public entity. This includes police badges and official equipment from law enforcement agencies or the fire brigade, ambulance service or other emergency services of the United Kingdom, Ireland, United States or any other country.

Make sure your listing follows our guidelines. If it doesn't, it may be removed, and your buying and selling privileges could be restricted.

What are the guidelines?


  • Fake, novelty, or clearly unofficial badges such as plastic or cartoon badges

  • Authorised general souvenir items, such as hats, mugs, pins, pens, buttons, cuff links, t-shirts, money clips that do not resemble badges, and paperweights that do not contain badges


  • Historical badges that meet both of these requirements:

    • The listing description clearly says that the badge is a historical piece that's at least 75 years old or was issued by an organisation that no longer exists.

    • The item doesn't look like a current-issue law enforcement badge. If we have reason to believe that the item looks like a current- issue badge, we may remove the listing for public safety reasons.

  • Empty credential cases or warrant card holders. Credential cases or warrant card holders listed with badges are not allowed.

Not allowed

  • Badges from law enforcement agencies, including but not limited to:

    • Interpol

    • Military Police (MP)

    • UK Border Agency

    • HM Revenue & Customs

    • Metropolitan Police Service (and all other constabularies)

    • Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA)

  • Badges issued by foreign governments, including international police badges

  • Badges issued by private security companies

  • Badge patches or patches in the shape of a badge

  • Identification cards or credentials for members of law enforcement

  • Movie prop badges

  • Police tape

  • Private investigator badges

  • Quasi-law enforcement badges such as fire brigade badges

  • Reproductions of current police badges, including fake badges that look like current issue police badges


  • Antique emergency lighting or sirens that are over 50 years old

  • Aviation beacon lights for aircraft

  • Emergency lighting for toys or model cars (no colour restriction)

  • Industrial or security system emergency lighting

  • Siren speakers


  • Actual decommissioned emergency vehicles that don't have current decals or prohibited lighting or sirens.

  • Emergency light bars that offer only amber or clear lenses or LEDs

  • Decals for toy or model cars, though the listing has to include a picture of these items that show scale

Not allowed

  • Fully operational emergency vehicles with lights, sirens etc

  • Lighting for emergency vehicles

  • Listings for emergency lighting systems that have black and white or stock images

  • Red, green or blue lenses used for emergency vehicle lights

  • Red, green or blue LEDs for emergency vehicles

  • Siren controls or amplifiers for emergency vehicles

  • Specific law enforcement decals


  • Novelty hats or shirts even if they say 'Police', 'Sheriff', or 'SWAT'

  • Police uniform accessories that are not department issued items (such as cuff links, name plates, ranks, tie clips, and so on)

  • Utility belts or belt accessories


  • Obsolete police uniforms that in don't look like current-issue police uniforms, although sellers have to meet both of these requirements:

    • The information above is clearly stated in the listing description.

    • Pictures of the item are included in the listing.

  • Official, current- or recent-issue police uniforms or components of those uniforms that do not have police markings (such as trousers, white shirts, boots or helmets with no badge).

Not allowed

  • Official, current or recently issued police uniforms, or components of those uniforms, that have police markings (such as jackets, hats and helmets with badges).

  • Uniforms and equipment for ambulance services, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) or fire fighters.

  • Military police uniforms or components of those uniforms

  • Raid jackets

  • UK Border Agency uniforms or components of those uniform, including shoulder patches.

The use of the Red Cross, Red Crescent and Red Crystal emblems is restricted under the Geneva Conventions for the Protection of War Victims of 12 August 1949 and their Third Additional Protocol. As a result, the sale of most items marked with Red Cross, Red Crescent or Red Crystal emblems is prohibited on eBay. Limited exceptions are shown in the allowed section below. Find more details in Additional information.


  • Educational or promotional items issued by the Red Cross or Red Crescent Organisations, such as postcards, jewellery, toys and decorative pin badges, whether given away or sold

Not allowed

  • Uniforms, military items, clothing, identity cards, decorations, awards or flags, which are not promotional items of Red Cross, Red Crescent or Red Crystal organisations and which contain the Red Cross, Red Crescent or Red Crystal emblems.


  • Authorised souvenir items (such as buttons, cuff links, fake badges, hats, money clips, mugs, pens, pins and t-shirts)

  • Riot shields


  • Thin blue line police items, as long as the listing does not indicate that the item grants any type of authority

Not allowed

  • Security firm uniforms

  • Traffic light control devices

Red Cross and other protected emblems

The Red Cross, Red Crescent and Red Crystal emblems are internationally agreed symbols of protection. They are used to safeguard the wounded and sick, and those who seek to help them, in a totally neutral and impartial way, in particular during armed conflicts. 

The use of the Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems is restricted under the Geneva Conventions for the Protection of War Victims of 12 August 1949. Similar legal restrictions apply to imitations of these emblems and to their related designations (names), e.g. 'Red Cross' or 'Red Crescent', as well as similar wording. The use of the Red Crystal emblem is restricted under Additional Protocol III to the Geneva Conventions. Thus, in principle, the sale of any item marked with the Red Cross, Red Crescent or Red Crystal emblems is prohibited on the eBay site.

For guidance within the UK, please contact the British Red Cross International Law Department, at or visit the British Red Cross website.

For guidance in Ireland, please contact the Irish Red Cross.

eBay, along with government and international law enforcement organisations, are concerned that people may use a badge or other police-related item to misrepresent themselves as law enforcement officers. To help avoid these situations, we don't allow certain police-related items to be listed on eBay.

Before listing a police-related item, be sure to follow our guidelines above.

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