Sunday, February 22, 2009

The new, flatter face of British policing

From the fading British empire:
It was billed as the latest police tactic to combat crime and now the idea has taken off nationwide.

Police figures show that forces across the country have spent more than £20,000 on the flat-pack PCs. ["PC" is the abbreviation for a Police Constable]

West Midlands police said it had ordered 80 cardboard constables at a cost of just over £10,000. In Derbyshire, £6,650 was spent over the past two years on a "substantial number" of cut-outs.

(Cardboard cut-out of a policeman used to help deter shoplifters Photo: PA / UK Telegraph)

"The theory is that it creates the impression at first glance of a capable guardian being on site, which hopefully also reduces the perception of fear of crime," said a Derbyshire police spokesman.

A survey using the Freedom of Information Act revealed that 13 forces in England and Wales have used cardboard officers.
Several forces admitted to having suffered the theft of cut-outs. Three went missing from filling stations in Derbyshire in the past two years, while two were stolen in Cleveland. [emphasis added]

Humberside reported the theft of one cardboard officer, which disappeared from a Tesco supermarket in Grimsby last November.

A spokesman for West Midlands police, which had the highest spending on cut-outs, said that some of the money would be reclaimed from shops which benefited from the scheme, but could not say how much had been recouped so far.

Article here. So sad. I wonder if those caught stealing the cardboard cops would face kidnapping charges? :)

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