WOULD-BE shoplifters in Bournemouth could find themselves confronted by a life-size cardboard policeman.

And while cynics might say a cardboard cut-out is often the only bobby you’re likely to see, the idea has merit.

It is part of an anti-theft initiative which has already seen 438 people put on a blacklist and banned from the 70 shops taking part.

Shoplifting is not victimless. It hurts small businesses and makes shop staff feel less safe. This sort of low-level offending blights too many high streets, so we should welcome the cut-out coppers to the force.