The BBC terrified two of its reporters by staging a fake break-in at 11pm to test security measures at a regional headquarters.
An actor hired by superiors to pose as an intruder to explore vulnerabilities is found by the frightened duo in a dark underground parking lot for employees.
BBC Director General Tim Davie has promised to investigate last Thursday’s incident in Nottingham.
A member of staff there said: “Staff had just left the newsroom after finishing the late East Midlands Today television programme. It was late, so there were only a few people there.
“They went to the parking lot under the building. It has a roller shutter that opens to allow cars in and out.
“They found the man hiding between cars and were very scared. He identified himself and explained that he was working on a “penetration test” for the BBC. The women who work here are angry that money is being spent on such stunts and not on improving safety.”
Companies charge up to £3,000 per day for the tests.
East Midlands BBC editor Emma Agnew told staff by email that no managers in England had been informed of the procedures.
She wrote: “I have been in direct contact with Tim Davie and he has promised to get back to us immediately.”
The BBC said: “We do not comment on security issues.”