The life-size cut-out guards the alcohol aisle at Asda in Leigh as an amused customer looks on
Greater Manchester Police’s new wheeze is set to be rolled out across the city as the presence of their cardboard cop, pictured with real officer PC Paul Prunton, slashed shoplifting rates by 75 per cent
The cardboard cop, nicknamed PC Boardman and based on a real Greater Manchester Police officer, was placed in the shop last October after police were called out several times a day to deal with prolific thieves.
The force recently announced it is axing 290 frontline jobs as it tries to save Â£135m by 2015.
The cardboard figure has been hailed as a success – despite shoppers making jokey references about ‘Blunkett’s plastic police’ following criticism of Britain’s police community support officers.
Shopper John West, 48, said: ‘We used to talk about the plastic police and now we have the cardboard police. Itâ€™s just a pity we canâ€™t have more real police around.’
Real officers still visit the store and the force claims it has freed up their time to deal with crime elsewhere.
PC Boardman the cardboard cop moves around the store several times a day on his daily patrol
GMP’s Supt Andrea Jones said: ‘The figures speak for themselves, as a 75 per cent reduction in shoplifting offences demonstrates just how successful partnership working is.
‘This sends out a clear message to shoplifters that their actions will not be tolerated and I hope it reassures the law-abiding community that we are serious about reducing crime and making Wigan a safer place to live.’
Andrew Lawson, Investigations Manager at ASDA in Leigh said: ‘Asda are currently forging strong working relationships with the police around Greater Manchester.
‘This project is a great example of how partners can work together to reduce crime.’
The work is part of a pilot scheme and is to be rolled out across Greater Manchester.