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 Officers to take part in 'haunted' charity sleepout

 03/01/2020

​North-East police officers are again spending a night behind bars in a haunted prison to raise money for good causes.

Officers from Durham and Cleveland forces are coming together to spend the night at Birmingham’s Steelhouse Lane Lock-up, a Victorian mini-prison that is steeped in history and home to paranormal activity.

They are raising money for Care of Police Survivors (COPS) - a charity dedicated to helping the families of police officers who have lost their lives on duty rebuild their lives.

They will also raise funds for the West Midlands Police Museum, which will use the money raised to help relocate the lock-up and deliver inputs to children on knife crime, drugs, online safety and child sexual exploitation.
Durham officers, PC Caryn Fairbairn, PC Lisa Hall and PC John Lamb will join Cleveland Police’s PC Chris Green for the challenge on January 31. They are taking part in the event in their own time.
 
It is part of a national fundraising campaign, which aims to raise £50,000 to be split between both charities.
 
PC Hall from Durham Constabulary, who completed the first challenge last year, said: “We had so much fun taking part in this event last year and we were all really proud to help raise funds for COPS which is such a vital charity.
 
"The work being carried out to restore and make Steelhouse Lane prison an educational setting also preserves a valuable insight into the country’s history, securing it for future generations to enjoy and learn from so we hope doing our bit can make this vision a reality.
 
“We also have the benefit of contributing to a fantastic charity in UK COPS that provide invaluable support to families of loved ones who have lost their lives in the line of duty.”
 
PC Chris Green from Cleveland Police, said: “I’m really looking forward to another fundraiser to do my bit for COPS and West Midlands Museum.
 
“COPS does some amazing work in helping those left behind when officers sadly lose their lives on duty so it is an honour to join fellow officers in raising awareness and support for such an important cause.”
 
PCs Hall and Green in particular will also be remembering Liv Pontin, a mental health awareness campaigner who worked within the police service.
 
Ms Pontin took part in the first charity event with them but sadly took her own life earlier this year.
 
PC Hall added: “It was a privilege to meet Liv during our first lock-up and we spent a lot of time talking about her work with the emergency services to raise awareness of mental health.
 
“She was a brilliant young woman who we will be remembering as we complete the challenge this year.”