What’s even more effective than surveillance cams and spotty police patrol? That’s right, cardboard cop cutouts. In an effort to curb bike (and other) thefts and free up officers’ time for more serious crimes, the Boston transit police decided to try using cardboard police cutouts to deter thieves at a transit station in Cambridge, MA. Despite initial skepticism about whether or not it would work, the experiment has proved to be a success: in the past month, only one bike was stolen at the station.
Apparently, the sight of an officer, real or not, is a good enough scare tactic to keep thieves and burglars away. Following the success of cardboard officers at the Cambridge transit station, Boston’s MBTA is looking to use the strategy at other stations. In addition to preventing bike theft, they hope the ‘fake cop’ can also help put a stop to issues such as fare evasion and smoking. We wonder if the strategy would also be useful when it comes to apartment theft – maybe a cardboard cop cutout is what these Florida apartment residents need after a series of 18 break-ins in their complex.