Last updated on November 25, 2019 at 11:26 am
Here’s looking at you, thief: Paper, plywood cop cuts crime by 67%
Have you seen this story floating around the internet yet?
The Boston Globe, Boston’s Metro Newspaper, and others have reported on the MBTA Transit Police’s clever, ultra-low-cost solution to fight bike theft: placing a life-size cutout photo of an actual transit cop in the bicycle cage at the T’s Alewife Station on the Red Line.
Don’t even think about it…The result? Bike theft dropped virtually overnight by 67%. It appears that the mere sight of the law, even if it’s a plywood representation, is enough to prompt a strong enough psychological-physiological response to not commit a crime.
The real Officer must get a kick out of his cardboard doppelgänger fighting crime when he’s not around.
We’re watching you. Well, sort of. The results of the MBTA’s experiment have endless, fascinating potential. For example, what if our educational system adapted a similar tactic to prevent rampant cheating? If a paper cop can stop bike thefts in such a dramatic way, perhaps a cut-out version of your teacher at the front of the classroom would remove any temptation to look at other students’ work at test time.
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