July 7, 2009

Police like scarecrow, not joke radar gun

Police in eastern England say a police officer scarecrow wielding a soft drink bottle instead of a radar gun sent the wrong message to drivers.

Inspector Dave Buckley of the Norfolk Police said the problem was not the 7-foot police scarecrow greeting motorists on the outskirts of Brancaster, The Daily Telegraph reported. In fact, the scarecrow was returned to the village after a policewoman removed it.

But he said radar guns are not a laughing matter.

Speed radars are used to prevent casualties on our roads and to address the irresponsible actions of motorists, he said. They should not be re-created by the roadside in jest.

Miranda Skillings, organizer of the Brancaster scarecrow festival, said a couple of scarecrows are always put up early to encourage residents to enter. She said she hoped the police officer would have the added benefit of getting drivers to hit the brakes when they enter the village.