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‘Pleasantly surprised’ man gives jail cell positive TripAdvisor-style review

Published Jul 11th, 2016 7:00PM EDT
Image: West Midlands Police

If you have to spend a night in jail, a new facility in Birmingham, U.K., might not be a bad option. It’s recently received an impressive TripAdvisor-style review that’s been generating plenty of buzz.

A British man wrote the review, in the style of TripAdvisor or Yelp, of the jail cell he spent the night in, and decided the facility in the Perry Barr district of Birmingham was pretty good. The pen-and-paper review was shared on Facebook by Birmingham Police and via a statement on the West Midlands Police website.

“On arrival at perry barr I was impressed by how modern and clean the building looks,” the unnamed 24-year-old reviewer, picked up for “criminal damage” in Erdington, England, wrote. “Once in my cell I was again pleasantly surprised by the cleanliness and decor.”


“I mean it was neutrally decorated to please all parties but done to a high standard,” he added.

From there the letter takes a brief turn towards the gutter, as the reviewer describes a hair, perhaps his own, he found near the toilet.

The reviewer also wasn’t happy about the tea service, saying that he was still waiting on “2/3” of his teas. The man seems to be no stranger to incarceration, as he wrote that he’d had better tea service at a different jail.

Towards the end of the letter, the man expresses his thanks for being allowed to write the review.

“However I would like to thank the custody officer for allowing me the pen + paper to share my experience so far,” he wrote, adding that he can’t yet comment on the food and exercise yard. All told, his stay with the police lasted 16 hours.

The verdict? Three out of five stars.

The police department would quibble with that rating, saying they thought it was “harsh.”

“We feel it’s a five-star facility: it’s designed to be safer for staff and guests and the more efficient check-in process means we can get arresting officers back out on the streets more quickly,” Chief Inspector Paul Minor of the West Midlands Police said in a statement.

From there, Minor continues to boast about the cells’ amenities, like cameras, “anti-graffiti surfaces,” and even “reflective ceiling domes.”

The police say in the statement that their facility is “state-of-the-art” and has 60 cells. Reservations are likely not necessary.

Follow Rob Verger on Twitter: @robverger

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