By M@ Last edited 140 months ago

Ah, a tabloid headline-writer's dream.

The police want to outsource their powers of custody to well-known retailers.

Talks are under way to open the first of these short-term holding cells in Selfridges department store on Oxford Street in London. The five purpose-built rooms would be smaller than normal cells and made of Perspex so that suspects are visible


Ah the lengths they'll go to, to ensure innovative window displays.

The point is to reduce rozzer time when dealing with shoplifters. A detainee could be held for up to four hours, fingerprinted and fined. The plans also suggest that DNA samples could be taken. This neat little nibble at civil liberties should sneak through almost unnoticed, masked by the 'they've got prison cells in Selfridges!' eyebrow-raiser.

The department store opened exactly 98 years ago today with the slogan 'Why not spend the day at Selfridges?'. Come their centeneray, it'll be interesting to reflect on this.

Prophetically appropriate image taken from Liz Bartlett's Flickr photostream.

Last Updated 15 March 2007