Intelligence-led policing

… may not work when used by actual police.


Part of a motorway was closed and dozens of police officers and a force helicopter were scrambled to the scene after a fake severed arm was spotted by the roadside.

Motorists who spotted the shirt-clad arm with a bloodied stump dialled 999 thinking an horrific accident had taken place.

But when officers converged on the scene – closing the M62 for more than three hours and leading thousands of drivers to be diverted – they found the ‘arm’ to be a plastic Halloween-style toy.

A helicopter, specialist search teams, forensics experts and motorway patrol officers were involved in the Merseyside operation, costing the taxpayer thousands of pounds.

An intriguing case, requiring cutting-edge forensic technology.

Merseyside police later confirmed the body part was in fact a Halloween-style plastic prop of the joke shop variety, rather than a prosthetic limb.


Amazingly realistic indeed. If they don’t put “approved by Merseyside CID” on their packaging now, they’re missing a trick.

Oh, did I not mention that CID were involved?

Detective Inspector Tom Keaton, from Knowsley CID, said: ‘This was treated as a major investigation that tied up large amounts of resources and impacted on all areas of policing response in Knowsley.

‘We don’t how this plastic arm came to be in the middle of the road, whether it was placed there deliberately or whether it had fallen out of the window of a passing vehicle.

‘However, Merseyside Police put a lot of resources into this incident and not only has it caused expense both in terms of time and money, it caused traffic chaos for motorists and was extremely upsetting for the drivers who saw the plastic arm in the road.

‘We would like to thank the public for their patience and understanding while this enforced road closure was in place.’

Give. Me. Strength.

Wait… £8.99 each? I think I have an idea. :o)



13 thoughts on “Intelligence-led policing

  1. This is madness. Shouldnt it go something like “Passing driver phones the police; ever-present motorway traffic car goes to scene; plod looks at arm; prods it; says “it’s a fake”; the end.

    This Keystone Cops comedy happens a day after Sir Hugh Ordure tells us that any reduction in their funding will mean fewer bobbies on the beat. They can obviously afford to if this is how they respond.

  2. It seems like the cops are blaming whoever discarded the toy arm for this fiasco, rather than themselves for being thick as pig shit. Should have happened just as JohnRS said.

  3. Clearly they had to have a meeting of senior officers to do a risk assessment before anyone could approach the arm.

    You never know a mad axeman might have been near by and without the approved delay the victim could have survived. And then what would have happened to the overtime required for a murder case?

  4. Look out for body parts appearing on a road/canal/railway line/runway/ferry terminal/supermarket car park near you as the great British copycat operation swings into gear. Oh how we will all laugh.

  5. Got caught by this yesterday. I could see at least 7 Police cars from the motorway. Just glad it wasn’t a waste of time…..

  6. They probably realised early on it was a fake. But nowadays it seems that the emergency services, and I mean all of them, massively over react to most incidents.

    It’s as if they are trying to justify there existence or their need for new shiny toys.

  7. And if the police had not reacted, and ten minutes later someone wndering down the motorway with an arm ripped off was plastered to the tar mac by 16 Polish H.G.Vs, you would be writing exactly WHAT now?

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