A police force has become the first in England to use cardboard cut-outs of officers to deter speeders.
West Mercia Police will position two lifesize figures of police officers at speeding hotspots in Shropshire as part of a trial to ascertain how effective they are at slowing down drivers. They will wear high-vis clothing and be holding a handheld speed camera.
The unusual concept is already being used in Scotland, but this is believed to be the first time an English police force has implemented the idea.
The figures will be used alongside high-visibility patrols and real speed cameras to target motorists going too fast.
Sergeant Damien Kelly, who is managing the trial, said: “The idea initially came from one of our own officers who saw a pop-up cop being used in Scotland while he was on holiday.
“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 cut-outs are understood to cost between £150 and £223 each. Some criticised the move as a waste of money.
John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “These cardboard coppers are hard to justify.
“Speeding is a serious issue, but taxpayers expect forces to spend their cash on catching criminals and putting bobbies on the beat.
“Constables must slam the breaks on wasteful spending and focus resources on frontline service.”