Police force starts using cardboard cut-out officers to deter speeding drivers

·2-min read
Police said they recognised people would notice it was cardboard but they would still get them to check their speed. (SWNS)
Police said they recognised people would notice it was cardboard but they would still get them to check their speed. (SWNS)

A police force has started using cardboard cut-outs of officers holding speed guns in an attempt to deter speeding drivers.

West Mercia Police has unveiled the pop-up officer named 'Bob', who comes complete with high-vis clothing and a handheld speed camera.

Two of the life-sized cut-outs will be placed by the roadside in Shropshire along stretches which have been reported for having high levels of speeding motorists.

The move has received a mixed response from local residents with some welcoming any measure to clamp down on speeding while others have branded it a 'lazy gimmick'.

West Merica Police say they will be used alongside high-visibility patrols and existing speed enforcement measures rather than instead of them.

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Police officers standing with the cardboard cut out. (SWNS)
Police officers standing with the cardboard cut out. (SWNS)

Sergeant Damien Kelly, who is managing the trial, said: “Keeping communities safe is one of our organisational priorities and pop-up cops are simply an additional tool we can use alongside our partners to respond to community concerns about speeding.

He added: "At first glance, Bob does make you check your speed which is a positive reminder about road safety in itself.

"We appreciate that motorists will quickly realise that Bob is a cut-out, which is why we will be using him smartly and efficiently alongside other speed prevention activity.

“We hope that the use of Bob, as well as our regular speed enforcement activity, will encourage drivers travelling in South Shropshire to change their behaviour and drive at a lower, safer speed.

"This will help to improve the quality of life for people living in the area and improve the safety of the road for all those who use them.”

The first of the two 'Bobs' - which are understood to cost between £150 and £223 each- was launched last week on the B4368.

Local resident Brian Buttleworth, from Bridgnorth, said: "I can't see how this will work, you can see clearly it's just a cardboard cut-out.

"This is just a lazy gimmick as a way to cut policing costs to avoid having bobbies out there on the streets."

Jill Chambers, from Shropshire, added: "They should be investing in recruiting real police officers - not cut-out versions. I think it's a joke.

"It might work to start with but as soon as people realise they aren't real they are going to carry on speeding past them."