A West Briton journalist was ‘arrested’with a four pack of beer in his hand and spent the night in a police cell as part of a well-organised plan to document what life is like on the inside.
With the cooperation of local police, the paper’s Truro community editor Jeff Reines pretended to be drunk and disorderly in public for a video on the paper’s website, to give viewers an insight into Cornish police cells and police procedures in action.
Cornwall & Devon Media’s digital editor Gareth Bartlett came up with the idea, which is one of many to boost the group’s video content.
Reines bought a pack of beer and sat on a bench in Truro’s plaza and started acting drunk.
When police asked him to stop drinking he became agitated and ignored their requests. The trouble soon escalated and the police wrestled him to the ground, handcuffed him and arrested him.
He was then taken into custody to be ‘charged’and detained, though he was given a code word so he could call off the exercise at any time. Reines captured his thoughts on camera over the following 12 hours and described the cell which incorporated a toilet in full view of a CCTV camera.
Reines said: ‘You don’t realise until they take things off you what it is like. There’s something about having no belt, and yes, they did take my shoelaces. My trousers won’t stay up, it’s a little thing but it does chip away at your dignity.
‘The wedding ring – that was a biggy. It was taken off me, I had no choice.”
Police will use the footage of the arrest and imprisonment to help train its police officers.