This is the moment a 104-year-old gran was ‘arrested’ by police after she said it was her greatest wish to be nicked – because she’d never fallen foul of the law.
Anne Brokenbrow – who has never committed a crime – grinned as local officers arrested and bundled her into a cop car.
Mrs Brokenbrow had told staff at her care home her desire to be arrested as part of a charity scheme where residents write down what they want most.
Today police obligingly took the former secretarial worker into custody at her care home in Stoke Bishop, Bristol.
Anne said she’d enjoyed being on the wrong side of the law for a change.
She said: “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.
“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.”
Care home resident’s wishes were pegged on a ‘wishing washing line;’ at nearby Co-op stores last week, in the hope a shopper will see it and offer to help make it come true.
Anne’s note read: ‘My wish is… to be arrested. I am 104 and I have never been on the wrong side of the law.’
Today her wish came true. Anne said: “It was a very pleasant interlude. And its been a very eventful day. 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,” she added.
Anne, who is 104 and has dementia, has been at the home for 10 months, where she is regularly visited by her granddaughter Sasha who she raised.
“I was a secretary at the Robertsons jam factory for many years,” Anne said.
“I worked in the offices there. I didn’t do anything very special but I worked quite hard.”
PCSO Kelly Foyle helped in the arrest. She 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.
“This all started when I received an email for the charity. We’re part of the neighbourhood pol team, this is our beat, this is the most unusual request we’ve ever had certainly.
“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 were happy to be on board’.
“She did come quietly, and she wanted to be handcuffed so we very gently applied the handcuffs and escorted her down to the police car.
PCSO Rob Cole 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’, he said: “Our charity provides lots of creative activities for older people and engage the community in coming into care homes.
“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.
He said the wishing washing line idea – which originated in Essex – had been a great success so far with many residents making wishes.
“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.
He said: “There’s a real irony in Anne being arrested today because I’ve been told on average people living in a care home in the UK only get to go outdoors and breath fresh air for four minutes a month.
“That’s actually less than prisoners.”
Care home manager Alex said Anne was their first resident to be arrested by police.
She said: “Anne has been a resident here over 10 months, she’s definitely a character – she’s got a beautiful and a great sense of humour.
“She usually brings a smile to the carers’ faces.
“We were a little bit surprised when she came up with her wish, who would expect from a 104 to want to be arrested.
“But it’s been great.
With the wishing washing line scheme only a couple of weeks old, Alex said it was great that their first resident’s wish had been fulfilled in such a spectacular fashion.
She said: “We’ve got a couple of others – one resident wished to have bikers come here and rev the engines, one would like to go in a Rolls Royce and have a ride, and another resident would like to drive a car because he never has.”
Alex said a motorcycle club had already volunteered to come to the home and fulfil the next resident’s wish.