Tayside and Central Scotland

Cutout police officers to halt speeding drivers

Police officers standing beside cutout officer Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption The Pop-up Bob used by Fife police is a cutout of an officer from Cowdenbeath holding a speed camera

A scheme that involves life-size cutouts of police officers being placed at the roadside to deter drivers from speeding could be extended.

Officers in Fife have been using so-called Pop-up Bob for two years to try to cut offending.

Officers in Tayside are now considering introducing the "officers".

Police Scotland said the life-size figures were not intended to replace "genuine resources" but act as a visual reminder to those tempted to speed.

The glass-fibre models show an officer from Cowdenbeath holding a speed camera.

'Appropriate manner'

The force said that the "Bobs" were designed to serve as a "prevention technique" to passing motorists.

Insp Tom Brown from Levenmouth Police Station said: "We utilise a life-size image of a police officer, which provides a visual reminder to motorists to ensure they drive in an appropriate manner.

"This prop is never used in place of genuine resources, and has previously been well-received by the local community."

Police Scotland said it had been "difficult to gauge" how effective the Bobs had been at preventing speeding.

However, similar attempts by officers in England to reduce crimes such as shoplifting using cutout officers have proved unsuccessful.

Douglas Pover from Perth and Kinross Council , who served as a police officer for 30 years, said any initiative that could bring down the number of accidents in the region was worth a try.

He said: "We've asked the police for a full evaluation to see if it's something that works as a deterrent.

"We're not advocating using it in place of real police officers, but if it can be seen to be worthwhile then we'll give it a go.

"We have the A9 and A90, as well as some rural roads where accident statistics can be quite high, and so if this is an effective way of stopping that then so be it."

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