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With unprecedented access to Hampshire Constabulary, this series follows the investigation of three major crimes, offering a rare and unique insight into the reality of modern policing

About the Show

With unprecedented access to Hampshire Constabulary, this series follows the investigation of three major crimes, offering a rare and unique insight into the reality of modern policing

Series 1 Summary

With unprecedented and unvarnished access to Hampshire Constabulary, a typical large provincial police force in the grip of profound change, this three-part series follows the investigation of major crimes.

A murder investigation starts with a body burnt beyond recognition but with no clues to the identity of killer or victim. An arson attack consumes a Portsmouth block of flats and destroys evidence of who set the fire. And a rape case is her word against his, with not much evidence to go on: all too often this has meant that the male party gets off, but can a new pilot scheme improve the conviction rate?

These crimes aren't unique to Hampshire; they're replicated in every incident room in the country.

As Hampshire police struggle to follow the evidence - or lack of it - BAFTA winning director Patrick Forbes follows this tightrope walk of triumph and disaster, which exposes the fragility of the system that too often leaves cases unresolved and without justice realised.

  • Police car

    Episode 1

    With unprecedented access to Hampshire Constabulary, The Force reveals the challenges faced by frontline police officers. A woman's body, burned beyond recognition, is found in a cornfield.

  • A police officer at his desk

    Episode 2

    This episode follows the work of a specialist rape unit in Portsmouth, the first dedicated unit to be established outside London; can it make a difference to rape conviction rates?

  • A police officer in an alley way

    Episode 3

    In September 2007 someone flicked a lit match into a petrol can at a block of flats in Portsmouth. The fire killed Kevin Holmes. Nine months later, his murder remains unsolved.