Police force comes under fire for selling £75 tickets to spend the night in Fred West's cell

Home of Fred and Rose West

A police officer carries a box of evidence from the home of Fred and Rose West

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

West Midlands Police have faced public backlash after charging members of the public £75 to spend the night in a cell used by Fred West at Steelhouse Lane prison.

The Halloween event includes a ghost hunt, stories about the history of the prison and an overnight stay in some of the cells, including one used by West.

The police force has been widely criticised for using Fred West's name to promote the event, the proceeds of which will go to modern slavery charity Hope for Justice.

The serial killer murdered at least 12 women in Gloucestershire between 1967 and 1987. 

Appearing on the breakfast show, criminologist and filmmaker, Roger Graef, said he was "shocked" to hear about the event.

 

'The dark side of policing excites some people'

"Police culture is not immune to this stuff, in fact some people get off on it. They have a black museum in Scotland Yard that's full of horrible stuff that they keep to show special visitors and there is a way in which part of the dark side of policing excites some people," he told Julia Hartley-Brewer.

"The truth is, police are like all human beings and they have a side to them that gets excited by this stuff. I just think that needs to be kept under control if they're going to win public confidence."

West Midlands Police said Fred West's name has now been removed from adverts promoting the event, after local residents accused the police of "glorifying killers".

The prison also housed members of Birmingham's Peaky Blinders gang, who inspired the BBC drama of the same name.