Numerous Cities Solved Cop Shortages With Cardboard Cutouts
When it comes to following the law, there's nothing like a siren and flashing lights to make people behave. That's why police want to be as visible as possible; their mere presence is enough to send crime plummeting like it's been dropped from a rooftop by Batman. But since police officers can't be everywhere at once, a number of cities around the world are now fighting crime with the power of cardboard. That's right, the cop on the corner may in fact be a life-size facsimile.
In Bangalore, India, traffic is so notoriously bad that it's not unusual for people to up and drive the wrong way. Realizing that no good will come of this, police now have fake cops posted at three busy intersections. As the police commissioner states: "The tendency among road users is that whenever they see there is no traffic policemen at any stretch of the road, they try to violate traffic rules." So now, these cardboard prints of mustachioed Bangalore cops take the beats no one else will, staring angrily into traffic and signaling that any wrong-way driver should turn the hell around.
Meanwhile, in Fife, Scotland, their first Scottish-Arborean police officer has already become a bit of a celebrity. "Pop-up Bob" patrols streets with his radar gun in an attempt to deter speeding. He moves to a new location every hour, because even cardboard people need a change of scenery every now and then.
But the most realistic cardboard cop has to be the one guarding a train station in Boston. That's because it's the cardboard twin of a real beat cop, Officer David Silen. Since putting up a cutout of this Transit Police officer, the number of monthly bicycle thefts at Alewife Station has decreased from five to one. It goes to show that even a bit of thick paper with a badge painted on is enough for most punks to ask themselves how lucky they are.