Cardboard cops: does the deterrent really work?

A cut-out Police Officer on Eglington Crescent, Haymarket. Picture: SWNS
A cut-out Police Officer on Eglington Crescent, Haymarket. Picture: SWNS
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CARDBOARD cops have been deployed across Scotland for the last two years – but do they actually work as a deterrent?

Similar schemes in Fife and the Borders were followed by a New Town posting back in May.

READ MORE: Council unveils cardboard cut-out cops to enforce 20mph limits
Residents of Eglinton Crescent gave Pop Up Bob a mixed reception after reportedly questioning his effectiveness.

One local reportedly said: “A real police officer with a speed gun would be better. People don’t notice it. The children like it, though.”

Law enforcers in Scotland are trying a number of different methods to reduce cases of speeding, including proposing drivers who break 20mph and 30mph speed limits be handed a written warning instead of a fine.

Such cut-outs have been used to deter shoplifters in England and Wales – stationed inside shops in an attempt to deter thieves.

enforcement of 20mph questioned

FEWER than two drivers a week were fined for speeding in the first four months of the citywide 20mph zones being rolled out across Edinburgh.

Figures from Police Scotland found that only 31 drivers were handed speeding tickets for breaching 20mph limits between 5 March and 30 June – prompting councillors to questioned the enforcement.

The final phase of the 20mph roll-out went live in south Edinburgh in March. It completed the two-year implementation which started in the west and centre of the Capital back in 2016.

drop in numbers of police on streets

FEWER police are patrolling Lothians streets than five years ago when forces were merged.

There are 24 fewer officers in the Capital this year than in 2013 and 36 fewer in the Lothians and Scottish Borders region.

Edinburgh’s 1,156 officers, compared to 1,180 in 2013, account for one per 439 residents.

The Lothians’ 928, from 964 in 2013, means one per 378 people.