London, Aug 14 (ANI): There was a time when customer satisfaction forms were usually handed out only to guests staying at hotels, but now even prisoners are being given the privilege to describe their stay behind bars.
Suspects are being quizzed about the food, the lighting, the washing facilities, the exercise routine, the reading material, and the cleanliness of police cells as part of a drive to "improve service".
Devon and Cornwall Police have issued officers with a 41-point survey to give to inmates to fill in while they are under lock and key.
Questions include whether food and drink was "suitable", whether books and magazines were brought on request, and whether they "felt safe" in the cell.
The forms ask the prisoner's age and gender and whether they were shown how to use the emergency buzzer - dubbed the "room service hotline" by disgruntled rank-and-file police.
The scheme, which has cost hundreds of pounds, is the brainchild of Chief Inspector Ivan Trethewey, Devon and Cornwall's head of custody. He claimed it would allow him to improve services.
But the plan came under attack on August 13 and was described as a "ridiculous" waste of money.
"This is an absolute -outrage," the Daily Express quoted Matthew Elliott, chief executive at the TaxPayers' Alliance, as saying.
"Handing out these forms sends all the wrong signals and is a waste of officers' time and taxpayers' money.
"Prisoners shouldn't have their every whim pandered to," he stated.
Tory MP Ann Widdecombe said: "This is a nonsense. If cells are not cleaned properly then you know they will be dirty.
"You don't need a prisoner to tell you that. I must say I think it is -ridiculous," she said.
The Police Federation's Dave James added: "You would not get a questionnaire that detailed in a Holiday Inn." (ANI)