A life-size cut-out copper, charged with putting the brakes on foot-to-the-floor drivers in an Eden village has been stolen in the line of duty.
The replica plastic policeman, with speed gun, had just started to make his mark by duping drivers into slowing down when he was snatched from his pavement hideaway on the A6 through Clifton.
PC Clifton 1745 had only been in situ, across from Cumberland Close, for two days when he became the victim of a crime that has left villagers scratching their heads and asking: “Who would do this?”
Rachael Kelly, clerk of Clifton Parish Parish Council, said it was a baffling crime and could not even have a guess at who the culprit was.
But she appealed to their conscience and said the village would welcome back its bobby with open arms.
“We don’t know who has taken him. We just wanted to get something sorted because speeding is a big problem in the village,” said Mrs Kelly.
“There are a lot of families in the village now with all the new houses and there is also the school, pedestrians and horse riders.
“We are trying to do what we can to make the village safer and then you get your speed man stolen.”
The policeman cost the parish council just under £100 and Mrs Kelly said: “I know it’s not a lot, but that is not the point. It’s parishioners’ money as well.”
The village already has a flashing speed indicator device and volunteers also take part in the community speed watch scheme which is run alongside the police.
A recent community speed watch exercise caught more than 50 motorists travelling through the village at speeds of between 35mph and 58mph.