Recently Finley has become a little obsessed with the Police. I totally believe in being as honest as possible with him when he asks me questions, so when the topic of conversation about law and order and the role of the police came up, we chatted about the Police catching bad people and bad people then having to go to prison. In his 4 year old mind, he then thought that if ever he was naughty he would end up going to prison! The continued reassurance that Police Officers were there to help good people didn’t seem to work. So when I saw a tour of Steelhouse Lane Police Station online, I hoped that a visit there might fill any gaps in his understanding.
The tour is a self guided walk around the facility, which was used as a lock up between 1891 – 2016, so if walls could talk, lots of tales could be told! Tickets were priced at just £5 each so it was a really cheap trip out. On arrival we were greeted by a very tall, very friendly policeman and directed through to the reception area, where we were given a fun questionnaire to fill in on our way round and items to spot to win a prize at the end of the day.
There were lots of volunteers on hand to answer any questions we had. As a family we all love a bit of trivia so it was great finding out why some beds are raised and some beds are floor level, why each cell has an arrow on the ceiling and how fingerprints were matched before computers existed. We even got to do our own fingerprints on an ink pad and paper and take them home with us.
There were lots of items on display to look at and try on. I think Finley was a little reluctant when he was initially put in handcuffs, but he found it quite funny having chain round his wrists and chatted afterwards about why people might wear them.
His favourite bit was trying on uniforms and hats. While he was playing with helmets and riot gear, me and Mr M chatted to a police officer who gave us some really useful advice on avoiding crime and staying safe. He was also happy to chat to Finley about how he helped children in the community and not to be frightened of the police.
We managed to answer all of our quiz questions by the end of the tour so we were awarded with a goody pack including colouring and puzzles as we left.
We loved our visit to Steakhouse Lane, and it really helped Finley understand the role of the police. Tickets can be booked for April and May tours via Eventbright