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Toys in Exeter cells saving lives

Foam football calms prisoners

Exeter police are being congratulated after providing 'distraction objects' that help calm distressed prisoners.

On Wednesday, the team at the custody suite tweeted that they had "another foam football success story."

They reported how a "young lad [was] losing his cool over being in a cell, threatening to self-harm." A foam football eliminated those desires to hurt himself. Police said he booted the ball around the cell and attempted to use it as a basketball. His irritability levels reduced.

Sussex police say they've taken advice from the Devon and Cornwall force and have subsequently provided distraction objects at five of their custody suites. Devon copper Inspector Simon Hardwick tweets: "Having an approach that prioritises the emotional regulation of detainees works. Better for the person detained and the staff looking after their welfare. Risk reduced."

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