Pretty paint colours are all well and good.
But is it enough for the twenty first century arrestee? I think not.
Some may say that we already pander to their every whim with Ooman Rights, uppers, downers and nicotine gum being as freely dispensed as a clip round the ear was in days gone by. Yet, I can’t help feeling that we’re not doing all that we can for the little treasures. It’s not like they’re actually guilty of anything is it? Only the wisdom of a court of law can decide that.
Meanwhile I think there are three things we could be doing to make their stay with us more comfortable without too much trouble:-
1. Aromatherapy. Admittedly these would have to be particularly strong scents to overcome the lack of foot hygiene common with the average arrestee. A whiff of Frankincense could do wonders for the insecurities and loneliness of the first timer. A puff or two of Jasmine could calm the angry with a strong lemon and peppermint cocktail just prior to interview to aid memories of those who may otherwise have gone “No Comment”.
2. Mood Lighting. Instead of the half-hearted stripes we could change the atmosphere at the touch of a knob. Soothing yellow for the aggressive, dim with twinkly stars for the sleepy and royal blue for those prone to telling tall tales.
3. Music. Nothing does more for the ambience than some slammin’ tunes. There is a small problem to solve with this one though. If you’ve ever been into a custody suite and the radio is on there is a 99% chance that it’ll be tuned into the local easy listening station. It generally keeps the custody sergeant from climbing the walls, but they’re tough and can take multiple hours of Lionel Richie, Foreigner and Chris de Burgh.
Besides, it would be nice to have that personal touch. With Top of the Pops being replaced by some sort of celebrity/island/dancing/cooking docusoap we should act fast and snap up some of the up and coming talent before MTV offer them videojock slots. Imagine the line up we could have:
Mike Read could play Relax for Smudger and Billy who have had to share a cell due to a busy night.
Simon Bates could update his show to include “Our Text”. Where Tracy could tell Dazza in cell four: ‘Fanks 4 protectin me onor lst nt. Wen th pigs dragged u in2 the van ur best m8 degsy took me home an e got me drunk and took me onor 3 times an once mor dis morning. It don’t mean nuffin I woz upset. Im only telling u coz e sez e as crabs an I don’t wan u finking Im a slag or sumfing. Mum sez I don’t av 2 go 2 skool 2day so Il c u at court. I ope u don’t get sent down coz the baby wil need is dad.’
Steve Wright could see if he can impersonate Mr Angry in cell twelve.
Kid Jensen could make sure Disqual Dave in cell seven was kept up to speed with the traffic situation for when he gets bail.
Obviously there would be occasions when we would override these semi-pros. Like when solicitors go in for a chat with their clients. We wouldn’t want them upset by an inadvertent burst of Lady in Red would we? We’d have to have a special setting for them that automatically played some soothing gangsta rap.
With the mood lighting turned to blood red/strobe effect and the aromatherapy system pumping out vodka red bull they could have a whale of a time. It should stop the two hour long consultations for a No Comment interview strategy. Think of the Legal Aid money we would save.
I’ll let all of you non-subscribers know if The Sharp End editors decide to put my ideas into a future edition.
I can’t see how they can refuse.