COPS collared eight desperados in the Port and collected £3,000 in “bail money” along the way.

While the officers who nabbed them were real enough, the “felons” were bosses from local firms who volunteered to have the cuffs slapped on them in aid of a good cause.

As part of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s Jail4Bail fundraising event, volunteers from Mecca Bingo, Stanley Staff, Starbucks, TenPin Ltd, the Old Wirral Hundred and Warehouse were taken into custody at their places of work by PCs Hannah Watson and Liam Smithies.

They were then carried in the back of a police van to the Labour Club in Flatt Lane where they were finger-printed and had their mugshots taken.

But things eased for the “fugitives” when borough mayor Cllr Ted Lloyd turned up, and they were all treated to a buffet champagne lunch before being released.

Organiser Charles Horton said: “I thank everyone involved, including the mayor for his support and attendance, Sgt Steve Bailey and his team at Ellesmere Port Police Station for their authentic arrests, the Labour Club for providing us with a venue and the participants for helping raise awareness of MD and funds to help pay for research into a cure of the condition.”

The charity plans to repeat the experience in November. To get involved, contact Mr Horton on charlesh@muscular- or call 01244 403012.