London's 'Celebrity' Parking Meters

5/9/2006 6:43 PM PDT

London's 'Celebrity' Parking Meters

Vehicle crime near London is getting harder to fight, so the local police are turning to "celebrity" voices to take action.

The police in Sheffield have started using parking meters that talk when you pay to grab people's attention and turn around a crime wave. 

But while the meters sound like celebrities we know -- the voices of Simon Cowell, David Beckham, Sean Connery, Michael Caine and others are featured -- none of them are real.

Celebrity mimic Stuart Smith was commissioned to imitate lines like "The name's Bond, James Bond..." (Sean Connery), "Ok, I'm going to be honest with you, leaving things in your car would be an absolute disaster..." (Simon Cowell), "Don't give away a free kick..." (David Beckham), and "Blow the blinkin doors off!..." (Michael Caine)

The meters made their debut Monday afternoon but are just a small part of a large campaign that aims to reduce vehicle crime in the city by getting drivers to take more responsibility for their cars.