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Not so much plastic policeman as cardboard bobby in Boston, USA - but it does seem to work

Bike thieves. They might be crafty, but, it seems, they’re none too observant.

In Boston, USA, a cardboard cut out of a police officer - dubbed CardboCop - gas been credited with a 67 per cent decrease in bike thefts since he’s been positioned near a hotspot for pinched rides.

Based on the Metro’s Red Line Alewife Station in North Cambridge, CardboCop saw two thirds fewer thefts last summer than in 2012.

The only real thing about CardboCop is his face - the likeness of Transport Officer David Silen.

“I think it’s our inner conscience. Even though they know that it’s not a real cop, there is some psychology at work. People realize it’s a cutout, but there is still a set of eyes in a blue uniform,” Transit Police Deputy Chief Robert Lenehan told the Washington Post.

Now, there are plans to replicated CardboCop at three other locations in the city.

It’s a different approach to that taken by police in Islington, one of London’s crime hotspots, where last year we reported police credited tough policing and education with an eight per cent drop in thefts.

In October last year, Project Cycle Ops was launched, which saw the Met Police, Transport for London, British Transport Police and City of London police working together to discourage bike thieves and educate bike owners on better security.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.