Edie Pope, a resident of Sefton, UK, requested the authorities to install a speed camera on a road where numerous accidents have taken place. Her request was rejected as the council said that it was expensive and would cost around £70,000. This led the 71-year-old to make a scarecrow and disguise it as a police officer.
A road on Sefton saw many accidents. Even after changing the speed limit from 60 miles per hour to 40 miles per hour, drivers used to drive at the former speed. Edie Pope said that the road witnessed three accidents in a short span of time. In one of these accidents, the driver crashed into the lamppost and broke it into half. He missed a passer-by by just 6-inches, who jumped into the hedge to save herself. Even after so many cases, the council was hesitant to install the camera as it was way too costly.
After her request was declined, Edie Pope, who is a parish councilor and runs a local farm house, took the matters in her own hands. She dressed a scarecrow with a hi vis jacket, wig and a policeman’s hat. This unique scarecrow police officer is named Speedo. She has a speed camera which is made from bleach bottle and wrapped in a tin foil. She is never off duty and keeps an eye on the road.
Mrs. Pope says that her innovative and budget idea started working in just a week. Fewer accidents have taken place since the set-up of the disguised police officer. Drivers slow down their vehicles when they see the scarecrow. Even the police officers were fascinated by this idea and were taking pictures of Speedo as they wanted more of such disguised police officers around.
It was not easy to set up Speedo in such a road. During her first week of service, someone got out of the car and took her. Later she was found beheaded. It took Edie almost 5 hours to repair her. After she was fully recovered, she was sent back to work.
The idea of disguising a scarecrow as a police officer came to Mrs. Pope during a scarecrow festival where Speedo was originally dressed as a bride. After her request to install a camera on the road was rejected, she decided to deploy the scarecrow in a much serious role. She lightened the make-up of the “bride” and removed the lipstick as it was not quite suitable for a police officer on duty.
Sefton council and Merseyside police were approached for a comment on the whole idea. It is assumed that they are feeling justified as their decision to not spend £70,000 on a camera was correct because a simple scarecrow could do the same job.