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24 Hours in Police Custody TX: 27 Oct 2014, Week 44

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The first five episodes of a 20-part observational series from The Garden Productions (24 Hours in A&E, Bedlam) shot inside Luton Police Station will air in September.

Filmed by a combination of fixed-rig and handheld cameras, this prime-time series will provide insight into the enormous challenges faced by the staff and an understanding of a busy police station.

The combination of filming techniques and unprecedented access provides a unique perspective on policing in modern Britain – allowing viewers into a space they may never have seen themselves.

This extraordinary series follows officers as they respond to 999 calls and arrest suspects, witnessing the relentless traffic through the police custody cells, round the clock, 24 hrs a day. The series films in close-up detail the police interrogations as each case is pieced together, to find the evidence to release or charge. The station works under the constant pressure dictated by time restrictions which mean that most prisoners can only be kept against their will for a maximum of 24 hours.

Executive Producers: Simon Ford, Emma Tutty and Jonathan Smith

Series Director: Alisa Pomeroy

Series Producer Flavia Taylor

Commissioning Editor: Amy Flanagan

Episode 5: The Morning After - Monday 27 October, 9pm, Channel 4

It is Saturday night in Luton and Bedfordshire Police are dealing with drunken domestic disputes and a booze-fuelled fight.

Police Constables Leanne Turner and Andy Parsons are sent out to investigate an alleged assault against a vulnerable and fragile 75 year-old man in a domestic dispute. The suspect is the man’s private carer and has been living with him for the past seven years. When he made the 999 call, the elderly man alleged that he has been slapped in the head with an open palm. But when they arrive, PCs Leanne and Andy are confronted with a distressed victim who insists he does not want them to pursue the matter and who begs them to leave. PC Andy, who had attended the victim two years before on a similar allegation refuses to leave without the suspect and an arrest is made.

With the suspect in custody, the case is handed over to Investigating Officers Nash Hussain and Dennis Smith who have grave concerns about the welfare of the alleged victim who appears to be very isolated and lonely - but they face a major challenge to get him to press charges.

At the police station, a Polish man arrested for a drunken row with his partner is admitted into custody. Initially brought in for a ‘breach of the peace’ - to remove him from the situation and allow him to sober up and cool off - things take an unexpectedly sinister turn when he whispers to the custody sergeant that he will kill his wife the following day. At 4am, after several hours in custody, Custody Sergeant Matt Carroll becomes concerned that he may be feeling suicidal. He drafts in the help of Polish Detention Officer Slav Konopka who offers him support in his own language before he can be interviewed in the morning about his threat.

The police deal with both difficult cases to the deafening soundtrack of a persistent ranting, kicking and screaming from a young man brought in for drunken fighting inside a pub. Weary Custody Sergeant Matt Carroll sagely predicts he will be a, “timid little boy in the morning.”

This extraordinary series follows officers as they respond to 999 calls and arrest suspects, witnessing the relentless traffic through the police custody cells, round the clock, 24 hrs a day. The series films in close-up detail the police interrogations as each case is pieced together, to find the evidence to release or charge. The station works under the constant pressure dictated by time restrictions which mean that most prisoners can only be kept against their will for a maximum of 24 hours.

Episode 4: The Drug Drop - Monday 20 October, 9pm, Channel 4

This episode opens with a young man accidentally dropping a large quantity of cocaine from his jacket pocket outside a petrol station – all caught on CCTV.

On the case are hard-bitten Detective Constable Colin Knight, “I don’t think I would make a very good victim liaison officer but I am a pretty good investigator,” and fresh-faced Police Constable Oly Tomlinson who joined the team three months ago. They get off to a promising start - tracking down the owner of the vehicle the passenger was travelling in. DC Knight brings in his chief suspect for questioning and discovers that, just like the man in the CCTV footage, he has a striking tattoo on the right side of his neck - but could it be a case of mistaken identity?

Also brought into the custody suite is Darren, a man arrested on suspicion of theft of meat from Marks and Spencer. As he is booked into custody it soon becomes apparent he is a heroin addict. Sympathetic Custody Sergeant Pete Fitz-Gibbon tries his best to persuade him to stay strong and get clean – providing him with clean needles and wipes when he finds out he is injecting.

He says: “The beauty of the custody environment is that is stops at the gate, once they’re there, they’re there, they’re in the cell, they’re in the custody unit. It’s a good place to get into people’s heads, so to speak. If we can give them just that little bit of help – that’s what we joined the job, that really is what we joined the job for.” But with the time constraints of 24 hours before Darren will be charged or released, the limits of what help the police can offer soon become apparent.

Both cases provide a stark picture about the dark world of young people caught up in a cycle of drug addiction and crime in Luton and the challenges facing the police in tackling it.

Episode 3: The Confession of a Paedophile - Monday 13 October, 9pm, Channel 4

When I first dealt with paedophiles, it wasn’t the people I expected. It isn’t the scary looking man who walks around in a trench coat that looks a bit dodgy. It was the guy in the pub that you always chat to, it was the guy at the gym that you make friends with, it’s the next-door neighbour that you think is lovely. It’s the everyday people which makes it all the more scarier because these people just walk around in the general public and you would never suspect a thing.” Detective Constable Selena Humphries.

The third episode of this critically-acclaimed documentary series follows the team of four detectives working fulltime on child abuse cases in the dedicated Safeguarding Investigation Unit at Luton Police Station.

News spreads across the county about a suspected paedophile trying to abduct young children on their way home from school. Local press coverage has led to hundreds of calls from panicked parents to the police. With the culprit at large, cameras follow the Major Crime Unit as they lead the operation to arrest a third suspect following a nine-year-old girl’s statement and an e-fit description. After two previous suspects have been released without charge, have they now got the right man?

In the public protection unit, DC Annie Fowler and DC Selena Humphreys believe they have finally gathered enough evidence, including thousands of images and hundreds of videos of extreme child abuse, to ensure the suspect is remanded in prison pending a trial. Following his second arrest, he makes a frank and shocking confession. They take this new information to the Crown Prosecution Service in the hope of preventing him committing any more offences.

The detectives working on these cases are often faced with trawling through the most horrific material to make their case. Detective Constable Selena Humphries says: “I could never quantify how much child abuse there is out there, but it is something that goes on behind closed doors day-in-day-out, it’s something that people would like to think doesn’t exist but it does.” But she explains why she chooses to work on such harrowing cases: “I always liked investigating sexual offences, I know it sounds really strange but they are the victims you want to protect and they are the people you want to look after.

Filmed by a combination of fixed-rig and handheld cameras, this prime-time series provides insight into the enormous challenges faced by the staff and an understanding of a busy police station. This extraordinary series follows officers as they respond to 999 calls and arrest suspects, witnessing the relentless traffic through the police custody cells, round the clock, 24 hrs a day. The series films in close-up detail the police interrogations as each case is pieced together, to find the evidence to release or charge. The station works under the constant pressure dictated by time restrictions which mean that most prisoners can only be kept against their will for a maximum of 24 hours.

Episode 2: Love Hurts - Monday 6 October, 9pm, Channel 4

In this second episode of the observational series shot inside Luton Police Station, Police Constable Cheryldeen Liversidge and Police Constable Kat Alison investigate two strongly contrasting stories about harassment and domestic abuse. Domestic abuse takes up to 40 per cent of police time nationally and is now a priority for Bedfordshire police having had a poor record in the past.

A scorned wife has dumped an ex partner’s clothes in a charity shop whilst another woman complains of a series of highly threatening messages from a man with a violent past. On the surface, two very different cases but both officers turn the cases they are investigating into something of a crusade and are determined to get to the bottom of what really went on in the private relations between their suspects and the victims.

PC Liversidge has to unravel the messy fallout of a marriage ending and disputes over the ownership of items within the jointly-owned, former marital home. She is investigating allegations of theft and harassment made by a husband against his wife, Sharon, who he says has been entering his property and taking his belongings without permission as well as sending unwanted texts making unwanted sexual advances; allegations she strenuously denies. “Love can make people behave in strange ways…everybody falls in love, love goes wrong, no matter who you are it doesn’t matter who you are and sometimes it ends up with the police having to deal with it,” says PC Cheryldeen Liversidge.

From her cell, Sharon describes her feelings on being arrested: “You just feel completely distraught, because it is easier than I ever thought to be on this side of that door. I’m a normal person, I’m a normal mother, and as I was saying to the police officers who brought me in here: ‘the divide between where you are now and where I am is about a hair’s breadth’.”

In the second case, the cameras follow officers as they chase down and arrest Daniel Benjamin for domestic assault and harassment. In cases of domestic assault victims often refuse to support prosecution. Police Constable Kat Alison has to battle against the clock to persuade Daniel’s victim, his former partner, that she must give a statement to support the allegations against him whilst piecing together enough evidence about a series of serious assaults to prevent him being released.

Filmed by a combination of fixed-rig and handheld cameras, this prime-time series provides insight into the enormous challenges faced by the staff and an understanding of a busy police station. This extraordinary series follows officers as they respond to 999 calls and arrest suspects, witnessing the relentless traffic through the police custody cells, round the clock, 24 hrs a day. The series films in close-up detail the police interrogations as each case is pieced together, to find the evidence to release or charge. The station works under the constant pressure dictated by time restrictions which mean that most prisoners can only be kept against their will for a maximum of 24 hours.

Episode 1: The Conspiracy to Murder - Monday 29 September, 9pm, Channel 4

This first episode of a brand new landmark documentary series from the makers of 24 Hours in A&E opens with the dawn arrest of a man on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.

Bedfordshire Police allowed over eighty cameras to follow the work of their officers in unprecedented detail from the cells at Luton Police Station to the operational heart of major crime investigation and the police interrogation rooms. This extraordinary film documents the work of the lead detectives as they investigate and interview the suspect about his involvement in a plot to shoot a man. Detectives have 24 hours to gather enough evidence to charge or release him.

The case surrounds the shooting of a Luton accountant in an apparently organised hit on 20th May last year. While driving to work, the victim was hit from behind by another vehicle. When he stepped out to inspect the damage he was shot in his leg by a close range sawn-off shotgun, sustaining life-threatening injuries. The police believe the case arises from a potential love triangle that has spiralled out of control.

After nearly a year’s worth of investigation, and five other arrests, the police arrest Mahboob Baig, 31, who they suspect may have been a key player in the plot to kill the victim. Mr Baig is the brother-in-law of the main suspect. The next 24 hours could prove critical for the police as they aim to establish the facts surrounding the shooting.

While Mr Baig is booked into custody the police now have 24 hours to make a case which will lead to a charge against him. In the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at Luton Police Station, Detective Sergeant Chris Hutton and Detective Constable Martin Hart plot their interview strategy.

The film follows, in forensic detail, the subsequent police interviews with Mr Baig, accompanied by his defence solicitor. The detectives employ all their interview techniques as they carefully disclose key evidence, drip-feeding information which they suggest connects him to the crime as they build their case.

This episode is the first of five in this brand new series which follows officers as they respond to 999 calls and arrest suspects and witness the relentless traffic from the custody cells to the interview rooms. The series captures in minute detail the police interrogations as each case is pieced together, against the clock, to find the evidence to charge or release. This is a unique insight into the world of modern policing - 24 hours a day.

Past TX Information

24 HOURS IN POLICE CUSTODY
03 Aug 2017, 22:15
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