This petition was submitted during the 2015–2017 Conservative government
Petition Make it illegal to impersonate soldiers/veterans - referred to as stolen valour
It is getting common these days for civilians and other people to impersonate soldiers and marines and/or wear medals and awards they are not entitled to wear.
This causes great distress to many veterans and families.
The Stolen Valor Act 2005 has to a great degree mitigated this in the USA.
Examples of "Walter Mitties" outed on Youtube:
There is a "Walter Mitty Hunters" Group on facebook with nearly 40,000 members.
This petition is closed This petition ran for 6 months
This response was given on 22 January 2016
The Government does not believe that the UK requires an equivalent of the USA’s Stolen Valor Act.
Read the response in full
The Stolen Valor Act 2013 makes it a federal crime to fraudulently claim to be a recipient of certain military decorations or medals in order to obtain money, property, or other tangible benefit.
Under UK law the making, or attempting to make a financial gain by fraudulently wearing uniforms or medals, or by pretending to be or have been in the Armed Forces is already a criminal offence of fraud under the Fraud Act 2006, as is the pretence of being awarded an official medal. The offence carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment. It is also an offence under that Act (carrying up to five years’ imprisonment) for a person to possess or have under his control any article for use in the course of, or in connection with any fraud.
It is also an offence against The Uniforms Act 1894 for any person not serving in the Armed Forces to wear the uniform of any of the Armed Forces under such circumstances as to be likely to bring contempt upon that uniform.
However, it is not automatically against civil law to wear a veterans badge or decorations or medals which have not been earned and there are no plans to make it an offence. There are many instances where relatives openly wear the medals earned by deceased relatives as a mark of respect, albeit on the right breast and we would not wish to discourage this practice.
Ministry of Defence