‘Retired’ Debenhams mannequins used as fake police to slow cars in country lanes
A small army of mannequins have been given a new lease of life as fake police officers.
The seven dummies were saved from a closing Debenhams store in Aberdeen to be rolled out across the countryside for motorists to mistake as cops checking their speed, The Press and Journal reports.
Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside councillor Geva Blackett was behind the masterplan to deploy the former fashion models onto the frontline, dressed in police uniform and hi-vis jackets to slow down passing traffic.
After hearing Debenhams at the Trinity Centre in Aberdeen was closing, Ms Blackett emailed the administrators asking if they could send her the old mannequins.
She explained the idea came from a former police mannequin in Braemar, nicknamed Allan, being stolen in January, she hopes the new ones will not suffer the same fate.
She said: “I am so pleased that what started out as the sad disappearance of the Braemar road safety mannequin has actually turned into a good news story for other communities in my ward -with six extra gentle reminders to drivers to slow down for children crossing the road popping up all over the place.
“I just hope that unlike in the case of Allan, they are actually left in place as they also remind children there might be cars coming and save accidents from occurring.”
One of the fake bobbies which kids have called Bob, have been put in place on Ballater Road in Aboyne.
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Local resident Anna Powszek, hopes the mannequin will make crossing the road safer for schoolchildren.
Ms Powszek said: “We walk to school with our kids because it’s healthy to encourage young people to walk or cycle, but to get to school we need to cross the busy Ballater Road.
“There’s a lot of lorries coming along this road that sometimes drive very fast, so it’s been something people in Aboyne have been thinking about for a long time.
“My neighbours and I wanted to do something, more, and Geva kindly donated this mannequin to us.
“We bought a police uniform for him, and Aboyne Primary pupils came up with the name Bob for him.
“He will be there to ask people to slow down, to make sure children are safe when they’re crossing the road.
“He’s a part of the community now, he’s been in the school for a couple of days now so the children have got to know him, and I think it will help to really make a big difference.
“Even when you’re not speeding, you slow down when you see a police officer like Bob, so it’s a step forward for us while we wait for more safety improvements in Aboyne.”
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