Derby’s First Citizen, together with eleven of the city’s business leaders, are set to face a day behind bars in April – all in the aid of the Mayor’s five chosen charities: Safe and Sound; Children First; Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre; The British Red Cross and Derby Museums Trust.

‘Derby’s Big Lock Up’ is being co-ordinated by Ann Bhatti, head of the Connect Derby managed workspace scheme, which has seven buildings across the city, including Riverside Chambers, which has police cells in its basement.

The Mayor of Derby, Councillor John Whitby and Ann Bhatti will be amongst the 12 ‘inmates’ who will face a mock ‘arrest’ by Peter Ireson, head of culture and business development at Derby LIVE, and Pete Meakin, culture development manager, at their place of work on Friday 20th April:

  • Councillor John Whitby – Mayor of Derby
  • Ann Bhatti – Head of Connect Derby
  • Christine Durrant – Acting Chief Executive of Derby City Council
  • David Nelson – Business Advisory Partner at Smith Cooper
  • David Williams – Chairman of Geldards LLP
  • Dean Jackson – Owner of Huub
  • Hardyal Dhindsa – Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Ian Morgan – Chairman of Derbyshire County Cricket Club
  • Jonathan Gray – CEO of Greendog
  • Lindsey Hatfield – Commercial Development Manager at Marketing Derby
  • Mohammed Suleman – ‘The Money Man’ at Derby Museums
  • Olivia Pritchard – Owner of Hide Burger Bar, BEAN Caffe, Rask Derby, Bustler Market

The motley crew will be charged with a whole host of ‘misdemeanours’ – from crimes against fashion and aggravated assault on dress codes, to cattle rustling, laundering chocolate coins and stalking Gregg’s cheese and onion pasties.

After the inmates have been rounded-up by Peter and Pete – who will be playing the role of ‘Ant and Dec’ for the event – they’ll be transferred to the cells at Riverside Chambers, where they’ll be forced to undertake a series of tasks to earn food rations and treats.

Their colleagues and members of the public will be asked to make a small donation to vote for the individual they’d most like to see locked up and make further donations to view the footage of the inmates doing their time in the cells. The more money that’s raised, the longer the individuals will stay in the cells.


Christine Durrant, acting chief executive of Derby City Council, is charged with being addicted to caffeine and hot chocolate. She explains:

“I got involved with the Lock-up event because I was ‘cheerfully volunteered’ by the outgoing Chief Executive; however, once I focused on the brilliant charities that we hope to raise money for, the decision to take part was easy.”

David Nelson, business advisory partner at Smith Cooper, is charged with Arson: his spreadsheets are on fire! He explained why he’s taking part in the Big Lock Up:

“Both on a professional and personal level, I strive to get involved with local and national charities and to contribute to the community wherever possible.

By getting involved in the Lock-up charity challenge, I hope to help raise awareness and funding for charitable organisations that otherwise may not have a voice, helping them to achieve their aspirations and continue to provide their invaluable support to those in need, all whilst having a great time with other, like-minded professionals from Derby.”

David Williams, Chairman of Geldards LLP, who is charged with the crime of stalking Gregg’s cheese and onion pasties, added:

“I’m pleased to be able to support the Mayor’s charities. John has set himself an ambitious target and everything raised will go towards very good causes. All I’ve got to do is get locked up. How difficult can that be?”


Ann Bhatti, head of Connect Derby, is charged with the crime of being a diva. She said:

“Having the former police cell at Riverside Chambers means we can tackle this challenge head on and make it fun for both the volunteers and the public.

All the inmates have shown remarkable enthusiasm and have really got stuck in, taking time out of their busy schedules to have mugshots taken and create their criminal profiles, but we’ll see if they’re still smiling when they’re behind bars!

Thanks go out to all the local businesses who have given their time and talents free of charge to enable us to organise the fundraiser. Special thanks go out to Codemakers for producing a fabulous website and to Cactus Images for taking all the mugshots of the inmates.”

It is hoped that ‘Derby’s Big Lock Up’ will raise thousands of pounds for the Mayor’s five chosen charities.

To find out more about ‘Derby’s Big Lock Up’ or to make a donation, visit ­­­­­­­­­­­ Regular updates will be made during the day via the dedicated social media pages, so be sure to follow for up-to-date news and information.