THOSE cardboard bobbies you find in town centre stores can give you a nasty shock.

There you are, wondering how much the biscuits are in the pound shop and you notice the policeman keeping a cardboard on you from the end of the aisle.

These full-sized replicas of police officers have been sent out on duty nationwide to prevent crime.

Police chiefs believe the sight of a uniform will make would-be thieves think twice. A test run in Oxford reduced shoplifting. In fact, cardboard police officers are used in countries around the world.

I recall that years ago cinemas used life-sized cardboard cut-outs of stars to advertise films. They set them up in the foyer to entice patrons inside. I also recall that effigies of Brigitte Bardot, Jayne Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe would often go missing, stolen by ardent fans.

Which has me wondering on two counts.