Carmunnock police scarecrow spooks motorists

A scarecrow dressed as a policeman fooled motorists and sparked complaints to the real force leading officers to investigate the fake colleague.

Pamela Johnston with the scarecrow. Picture: HeMedia
Pamela Johnston with the scarecrow. Picture: HeMedia

The mannequin, which has been dressed in a toy hat and a high-visibility jacket, has the word “police” crudely written on its back.

Standing in a front garden off Busby Road, Carmunnock, Glasgow, the figure is likely to dupe motorists due to its bright colours and raised arm.

And, according to the woman who created the mannequin, it has actually helped to reduce the number of cars speeding through her sleepy village.

Pamela Johnston, 38, created the straw officer as part of a competition to find the best scarecrow in her village ahead of an annual community gala day.

But the mum-of-two said she was surprised that someone called in the real police and made a complaint over the matter.

Pamela said: “He started out as a bit of a joke but he seems to have caused a bit of a rumpus in the village.

“I didn’t even think it would be that effective since I crudely wrote on the back of it in crayon.

“I can’t believe someone complained about the scarecrow. Apparently they thought that it was a real police uniform.

“I think whoever had complained about the scarecrow might have been travelling a bit too fast on the road and gotten a fright and then realised it was a scarecrow.

“He’s gone down a real treat with some of the locals. A lot of them have asked me if we’re going to keep Sid the scarecrow and move him around the street to slow people down.

“Cars travel really fast through our road, it’s quite narrow, and it can get quite dangerous when they go up on the pavement just to get past.

“But someone came up to me and said it was quite cheeky that the traffic police were just hanging out in my garden.

“If he keeps doing a good job, then he could be staying where he is for a while and hopefully he can give us the edge in the scarecrow competition.

“I don’t know who made the complaint but hopefully it wasn’t someone else in the competition or the village - we’re quite a close knit community here and everyone gets along really well.”

Pamela decided to get more actively involved in the local gala festivities after her six-year-old daughter Mia had been appointed as the event’s flower girl.

Carmunnock has seen several other colourful characters grace the streets including mock-ups of Marge Simpson, Superman and a family of bears in sports kits.

The maker of the best character will receive a homemade straw trophy and is set to be announced at the final gala event tomorrow (Sat).

Local Labour councillor Malcolm Cunning said: “All I would say to that is that the person who has taken offence to that should lighten up.

“People get so uptight about some of these things. Provided that it’s all done in good humour, there’s no intention to insult and, in this case, mislead.

“What on earth is the problem? It’s good, clean fun. Some people will find a reason to get upset about anything.”

A spokesman for Carmunnock Community Council added: “It was just meant as a bit of fun for our gala day.

“There is nothing serious about it and there can hardly have been a likeness to anybody.”

A neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said the police scarecrow even fooled some locals at first.

She said: “I love walking through the town and seeing all the scarecrows. It’s brought a lot of colour to the place.

“I did wonder about how legal it was because it looks quite imposing from a distance but up close you realise that it’s a joke.”

Another neighbour added: “I actually think that it might help stop people from speeding through the town and even scare off the birds, even if it isn’t here for that long.

“It’s a good thing for the village.”

A Police Scotland spokeswoman confirmed the force had received an anonymous complaint and that officers had gone to inspect the mannequin.

She said: “At about 9.50 am on Wednesday we received an anonymous complaint of a scarecrow dressed as a police officer in a garden in Busby Road, Carmunnock.

“It was suggested that it was there to deter speeders. Officers attended and there was nothing untoward or sinister about the scarecrow.

“It, along with other figures, have been placed in a number of gardens in the local area as part of a local gala day.

“The scarecrow has a toy hat on and high-visibility vest with police written in felt tip pen. There is no official police uniform on it.”