it's a fair cop

it's/that's a fair cop

An admission of wrongdoing upon being caught. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. What can I say? It was a fair cop. They saw me dumping my rubbish right there in the alleyway.
See also: cop, fair

it's a fair cop

an admission that the speaker has been caught doing wrong and deserves punishment.
See also: cop, fair

it’s a fair ˈcop

(British English, spoken, humorous) used by somebody who is caught doing something wrong, to say that they admit that they are wrong: He just said, ‘it’s a fair cop’ and handed the bag to one of the policemen.
See also: cop, fair
References in classic literature ?
It's a fair cop. We don't sweat to know 'ow you brung it orf.
The former police sergeant, who performed a total sell-out run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe last year, turned into a stand-up comedian and became the star of BBC Radio 4 show It's A Fair Cop. He will perform at Warwick Arts Centre on October 10.
IT'S A FAIR COP: Sting, with Andy Summers and, right, with Bruce Springsteen WIREIMAGE.COM/AP
Mr Fox said: "It's a fair cop. This is a blatant attempt to buy votes."
It's a fair cop when Len catches Cain with Ollie, but he later finds out it's a fair cop that Angie Cain really wants.
qOK, officer, it's a fair cop. And when the officer is played by gorgeous Gina Gershon, it's a VERY fair cop!
IT'S A FAIR COP: Madonna calls in the police for a lift home
IT'S A FAIR COP: Caroline Quentin and co didn't impress in police drama
But it's a fair cop and now the council will be charging us."
ECO-warrior Swampy told police "It's a fair cop" when they arrested him for having magic mushrooms, a court heard yesterday.