Cardboard police deployed

Eight cut-outs of police officers are set to be deployed across Essex in a bid to deter and confuse would-be criminals.

Essex Police has joined a dozen other police forces in forking out hundreds of pounds for the flat-pack officers. Some are currently being trialled in petrol stations to stop motorists driving off without paying, while they have also been placed in stores to deter shoplifters.

A Freedom of Information Act request reveals the force recently spent £760 on the mock-ups after they were introduced elsewhere in the country in recent years.

Essex Police say some of the cut-outs have not been deployed yet, while others are being trialled in sites across the county.

In October 2007, a cardboard copy of one police constable placed to deter shoplifters in a Derbyshire village was stolen.

Cardboard cops used to deter thieves (Billericay Weekly News, 2 February 2009)