Police in India employ cardboard cops to reduce traffic offences


Police in India employ cardboard cops to reduce traffic offences

Police in Bangalore have turned to cardboard cut-outs in an attempt to deter unruly drivers from breaking traffic laws.

The 'fake' policemen have been placed in the central district where traffic is heaviest, but if the scheme proves successful it could be rolled out across the city.

The move is part of a bigger drive to reduce the number of traffic violations in a city that is home to some 4.2 million vehicles.

"It is not a gimmick. Wherever we have put up these cut outs, violations have come down," Traffic Commissioner MA Saleem told the BBC.

Mr Saleem admitted there is a shortage of more than 500 traffic policemen in the city. "Right now we have put these cut outs in the central district. We will have them throughout the city soon," he added.

The sheer density of traffic in the sprawling city means traffic officers find it difficult to patrol all of the trouble hotspots. "We can't be at every junction all the time and such measures help," said Ramachandra, a traffic police sub-inspector.

According to South African news channel IOL, three khaki-clad cut-outs had been deployed last week but one was soon stolen. Regardless, it has not discouraged Saleem, who said the fake policemen will now be removed when it is dark to reduce chances of theft.

This is not the first time cardboard policemen have been employed to reduce crime. A six-foot tall life-size figure, named PC Bobb, was placed in a Sainsbury's Local store in Leigh, Greater Manchester to deter shoplifters last year.

Unfortunately, he was also stolen.