A 93-year-old woman by the name of Josie Birds was arrested by the Greater Manchester police, one of the UK’s largest police forces, because it was her dying wish.
After being on the right side of the law all her life, Birds, who has been in poor health as of late, asked her granddaughter, Pam Smith, to assist her in fulfilling her dream.
And Smith went to work making that dream happen.
“A few weeks ago, a member of the community approached a GMP PCSO from the North Manchester division with a slightly unusual request,” said the Greater Manchester police in a statement. “The woman mentioned that her 93-year-old grandmother had a request on her bucket list that she was hoping GMP would help her fulfill. The request was for the grandmother to be ‘arrested’ and be taken to one of our police stations so she could experience what it was like to be on the wrong side of the law.”
Smith told the BBC that her grandmother, who has six daughters, 20 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren, was handcuffed by off-duty officers and taken to the police station, where she was questioned “rigorously” as part of the act.
“She wanted to go into the cells too, but they drew the line at that and gave her tea and cake instead,” Smith told the BBC.
Chief Inspector Denise Pye of the force’s City of Manchester division said: “The focus of our PCSOs is heavily driven by our community and how we can support them…On this occasion, and for a short period of time, we were able to fulfill the wishes of an elderly lady and give her a day to remember. We’re glad to see that we were able to make an elderly lady smile and tick one thing off her bucket list.”
“We want the community to feel reassured in our presence and comfortable in approaching any of our officers when they see us out and about,” Pye also added in his statement.
Birds hasn’t been the only person to want to experience the thrill of being jailed. In March, Anne Brokenbrow, 104, had her wish of being arrested granted after relaying her desire to her Bristol care home. She claimed it was a “lovely” and “interesting” experience.
In a tweet posted on June 22, Pam Smith thanked the Greater Manchester police for being generous enough to follow through with her grandmother’s unusual wishes.
Smith’s tweet received more than a thousand likes and reads: “A big thank you to @gmpolice for ‘arresting’ my Gran Josie today. She is 93 years old and her health is failing, and she wanted to be arrested for something before it’s too late. She has a heart of gold and thoroughly enjoyed it today. Thank you for granting her wishes.”
Smith has also said that Greater Manchester police “made an old lady very happy” by arresting her grandmother, adding that Birds had “wanted to do something like this while she still has the strength to enjoy it. She’s been good all her life and wanted to have an experience to remember! She’s a star.”