YOUTH intervention officer PC Hannah Lamport in front of her likeness.

HELLO, hello…criminals in Tiverton could be forgiven for thinking they’re seeing double.

A street artist has painted pictures of officers based at Tiverton Police Station on a nearby wall.

The aim is to break down barriers between police and young people – but not everyone thinks it’s a good idea.

Matthew Elliott of the Taxpayers’ Alliance has branded the project a waste of money.

He said: “It’s a costly farce and insulting to both local police officers and youths.

“To waste taxpayers’ money on such a gimmick instead of using it to fight crime is a disgrace.”

But Sgt Rob Curtis said most reaction had been positive.

He said: “It isn’t a gimmick – it’s part of a long-term strategy between local police, Devon Youth Service and the local authorities to increase facilities for young people and to encourage them to take responsibility for their actions.”

The mural, which went up last month, was created free by the artist.

County and disctrict councillor Des Hannon said: “We’ve chosen to do something fun and we’ve given young Tiverton talent a chance.”