For Anne Brokenbow, a resident of Stokeleigh Care Home in Bristol, getting arrested was one of her bucket list wishes and the local police complied in fulfilling it.
A 104-year-old woman was 'arrested' by police authorities in Bristol from a care home on March 20. Her crime - nothing at all. She just wanted to get arrested! This was an arrest unlike any other for the police officials in Bristol. The old lady, Anne Brokenbrow had never been on the wrong side of the law and she wanted the thrill of stepping into the shoes of a 'criminal' for once. Getting arrested by the police was as part of a bucket list wish she had, reported the Daily Mail. Brokenbrow, who is a resident at Stokeleigh Care Home in Stoke Bishop, Bristol, was 'detained' by two officers as part of a charity event that was made possible by the Wishing Washing Line - an initiative that was started this month in Bristol to help the elderly make some of their wishes come true. The home is one of five facilities in the area that is participating in the same. Two police officials, arrived at the care home in the morning to perform the arrest and escorted Brokenbrow to the police car. Brokenbow is a former secretary who has been staying at the home for the past 10 months. Wishes of the care home resident were pegged on a 'wishing washing line' at nearby co-op stores. It was hoped that a shopper would see these and offer to help make it come true.
Anne's wish note read: My wish is... to be arrested. I am 104 and I have never been on the wrong side of the law. After the arrest, she said, "What did it feel like being a criminal? Well, it will make me much more careful of what I say and do. But the police were very nice throughout." She further said about the experience, "I had a lovely day it was interesting. Nothing like that ever happened to me before. They put the handcuffs on, I had the lot. It was a very pleasant interlude. It has been a very eventful day.
She added, "I get to a lot of different activities here - I have a go at everything, they're very nice to me. I've got grandchildren, all fit and well - I hear a lot from them and see them quite often." Brokenbrow's husband died 35 years ago. She has also developed dementia due to her old age. However, she is regularly visited by her family and her granddaughter Sasha who she raised. "I was a secretary at the Robertsons jam factory for many years. I worked in offices there. I didn't do anything very special but I worked quite hard," said Brokenbow.
Speaking about the arrest one of the officers who made the arrest PSCO Kelly Foyle said, "My colleague PC Stephen Harding arrested her, as far as I know, she's the oldest person he's arrested. She was smiling, she had a lovely time." She further said that she was surprised at such a unique request. This all started when I received an email for the charity. We're part of the neighborhood pol team, this is our beat, this is the most unusual request we've ever had certainly."
She continued, "I got the email and I thought 'wow what an amazing thing to wish for', it explained that she'd never been in trouble with the law and she's 104 and she would just like the experience of being arrested, was so I emailed back saying 'yes we're happy to be on board. She (Brokenbow) did come quietly, and she wanted to be handcuffed so we very gently applied the handcuffs and escorted her down to the police car."
Another police official, PCSO Rob Cole, who was also part of the mock arrest, said "It was our first time arresting anyone at a care home. She was surprised to see us, I don't think she could remember at first that she'd wanted to be arrested. But when she saw us and the handcuffs were coming out she went along with it then - she didn't resist or anything."Simon Bernstein chief exec of alive activities who run the 'wishing washing line scheme', said, "Our charity provides lots of creative activities for older people and engages the community in coming into care homes."
He added, "It can be very boring and quite lonely sometimes - with the best will in the world, some of the care staff don't have the time to engage people in meaningful activities." The idea for wishing washing line originated in Essex where it had been a great success. "It can be as simple as going to the pub for a pint, or having somebody to knit with or play bridge with, it can be anything. 'One man said he wanted to see Elvis - but you can't make every wish come true.' Simon explained that some elderly people might actually be better off in prison, at least in terms of fresh air."