'Looks promising' say police after using pop-up cop to combat Shropshire speeding

Police offers bidding to tackle speeding in south Shropshire saw encouraging signs when using a 'plastic policeman' as a deterrent.

Bob is a new recruit from West Mercia Police. Picture: South Shropshire SNT @SouthShropCops
Bob is a new recruit from West Mercia Police. Picture: South Shropshire SNT @SouthShropCops

South Shropshire's Safer Neighbourhood Team tweeted that they had used 'Bob' – a cut-out officer at two locations.

Bob looks life-like with high-vis clothing and is holding a hand-held speed camera. And trying out the initiative, the police team said they had seen 'promising results'.

"Recently we have launched an initiative to try and tackle speeding in South Shropshire, with the intention to roll out force-wide," they said.

"The SNT have started gathering data for vehicle speed without any extra reminders and we then tried two locations with Bob. All of the data was taken from 30-minute monitoring sessions."

Officers focused on Overton Road in Ludlow.

Without using Bob, 50 vehicles were checked at an average speed of 32mph and 13 were speeding.

With Bob at the side of the road, 56 vehicles were checked with an average speed of 27.8mph and nine vehicles were speeding.

They then attended Clee Hill where, without Bob, 37 vehicles were checked at an average speed of 31.2mph, with eight of them speeding.

With Bob, 70 vehicles were checked and an average speed of 26.9mph was registered with three vehicles speeding.

"We saw a reduction over more than 4mph each time," the team tweeted. "It's early days, but this looks promising."

Bob is meant to act as a reminder to motorists to think about their speed, and encourage them to drive in a responsible manner.

Already used elsewhere across the UK, pop-up cops are not used in place of genuine officers, but aim to complement existing policing activity and can be deployed to areas where speeding has been reported as an issue and in response to local community concerns.

Sergeant Damien Kelly, from West Mercia Police, recently said: “Keeping communities safe is one of our organisational priorities and pop up cops are simply an additional tool we can use alongside our partners to respond to community concerns about speeding.

“The idea initially came from one of our own officers who saw a pop up cop being used in Scotland while he was on holiday.

"At first glance, Bob does make you check your speed which is a positive reminder about road safety in itself.

"We appreciate that motorists will quickly realise that Bob is a cut-out, which is why we will be using him smartly and efficiently alongside other speed prevention activity.

“We hope that the use of Bob, as well as our regular speed enforcement activity, will encourage drivers travelling in south Shropshire to change their behaviour and drive at a lower, safer speed. This will help to improve the quality of life for people living in the area and improve the safety of the road for all those who use them.”

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