Perthshire community ‘shocked’ after pop-up policeman Jim’s theft

A Perthshire community has been left in shock after someone ‘stung’ a police pop-up.

The plastic cutout policeman – also known as Jim – was unleashed and stolen from the roadside in Carse of Gowrie late last month.

Police Scotland have now completed their investigation into Jim’s disappearance but will assess any new information that may come to light.

On the evening of April 30, Pop-up Jim was released from his chains and taken to the side of B953 at Abernyte which he was dutifully patrolling.

Jim had spent the last few months doing an admirable job reducing traffic speeds in this sleepy rural hamlet and keeping the community safe.

The theft of the plastic policeman – which cost Perth and Kinross Council around £250 – prompted a phone call to physical police who issued a crime reference number and investigated.

Pop-up Policeman Jim was stolen last month.Perth and Kinross Council

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “On Tuesday, April 30, we received a report of a missing police officer from Main Road, Abernyte.

“Investigations have been carried out and have now been completed. Any new information will be evaluated.

Carse de Gowrie councilor Angus Forbes – who organized the installation of Pop-up Jim in Abernyte – was “horrified that the much-loved – but fairly quiet – police officer was no longer part of the Abernyte community”.

Cllr Forbes added: “Pop-up Jim had only been in Abernyte for a few months and he had already helped slow down drivers as they approached the village.

“I was really disappointed that it was stolen.

“The chains had been cut and left at the scene, which was a clear indication that someone had gone out equipped for the sole purpose of stealing it – as I assume bolt cutters are not normally carried in a car.

“It was clearly not a prank from a drunk person coming home from the pub.”

Cllr Forbes has managed to find a replacement for Jim, but increased security measures will be put in place before Pop-up Jane hits the roadside.

The Tory councilor beamed: “I’m delighted to have been able to find a new pop-up cop; this time, a female officer called Pop-up Jane.

“We’ll need to increase our security around her before she appears.” I am grateful to Perth and Kinross Council for providing another pop-up cop for Abernyte.

Local resident Mark Petrie described it as “a bit of a shock” to discover that someone had gone out of their way to rob the famous short-lived cop.

Mr Petrie said: “I woke up one morning to find him gone; he was safe the night before.

“Abernyte is a safe and pleasant place to live, so it’s a bit of a shock that someone came with the sole intention of robbing it.

“There are no sidewalks in Abernyte, so people – including children going to school or the playground – have to walk along the road.

“It really made a difference in the speed of traffic approaching the village.

“With the extra traffic expected due to the Cross Tay Link Road, we need as many measures as possible to ensure drivers stay within the speed limit and we can still drive around safely.

“I hope Pop-up Jane will be as deterrent as Jim – maybe even better!”

Perth and Kinross Council said thefts from its pop-up cops are rare.

A Perth and Kinross Council spokesperson said: “We have found that using ‘pop-up’ police officer figures on local roads can help motorists be mindful of their speed.

“In our experience, the figurines – which cost around £250 each – are generally well received by the public and vandalism or theft is not common.”

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