Untold: The Police

Home Office partners with Channel 4 to tackle perceptions of the police in bold new recruitment drive

Category: News Release

First of its kind creative campaign will air across Channel 4’s linear, digital and social channels

A powerful campaign exploring the public’s perceptions of the police and the experiences of black, female and LGBTQ police officers is launching across Channel 4’s TV, digital and social media channels tonight as part of a unique partnership with the Home Office.

Untold: The Police features members of the public from groups that are less likely to consider a career in policing interview serving police officers from those same communities

The open and honest conversations are unscripted and the potential new recruits raise issues that are closest to them, including reaction of family and friends, inclusion, the Black Lives Matter movement, stop and search, and balancing personal life with work. The campaign includes a branded three-part series for social media from 4Studio, which launches today across Channel 4’s Facebook and YouTube accounts and is available to stream in full on All 4.

For linear TV, two exclusive 30 second ads have been created from edits of the new series – the first debuts on Channel 4 tonight during The Great Celebrity Bake Off For Stand Up To Cancer. These will also run as a digital campaign on All 4, including an interactive format providing viewers with the option to click through to view the relevant full-length social film.

In addition, a collection of police-focused ‘blue-light’ programming sponsored by the Home Office will be hosted on All 4, including Untold: The Police – collectively making this integrated cross-platform partnership the first of its kind.

Untold: The Police is part of the Home Office’s wider Make Your Difference campaign to recruit 20,000 additional police officers over three years. An extra 8,771 officers have been recruited so far and the numbers of female officers (45,996) and those from black, Asian, and other minority ethnic backgrounds (10,218) are the highest on record.

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse MP said: “The Government’s push to recruit 20,000 extra officers gives us a once in a generation opportunity to make the police more representative of the communities they serve and ensure they are drawing from the full range of talent that this country has to offer.

“To do this, we need to be bold, honest and tackle difficult issues head on, and that is exactly what this exciting partnership with Channel 4 is doing.”

Produced by Armoury London, Untold: The Police was commissioned by Digital Commissioning Executive Thomas Pullen, working closely with 4Studio’s Group Content Manager Jenny Porter and the specialist commercial team. The partnership with the Home Office was brokered by 4Sales and MG OMD.

Jonathan Lewis, Head of Digital Innovation & Partnerships, Channel 4 said: “Untold: The Police is a brilliant example of Channel 4 working with advertisers to create powerful content that reaches new audiences with a thought-provoking message – wherever they’re watching.”

“We’re really proud that Channel 4 is now the UK's most viewed social branded entertainment content partner thanks to our unique and award-winning, social-first offer.”

Matt Hichens, MD, Armoury London said: “It’s been a great project to be involved with and we are pleased and proud of the end results. The topics and subjects we have covered have meant it has been a delicate balancing act at times, but we hope and think we have created a fair and honest set of films.”

Since launching its first Branded Entertainment social series in September 2020, 4Studio has become the UK's most viewed social branded content entertainment partner, amassing over 39 million views for a multitude of successful and award winning campaigns on Channel 4 across Facebook and Instagram alone (source: Tubular Labs).

Channel 4 is the only UK broadcaster to offer a slate of social-first branded entertainment opportunities to advertisers for publication across its quality, brand-safe, social channels – including Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.



Home Office Press Enquiries: Newsdesk / 0300 123 3535 (7am to 8pm, Monday to Friday)

Notes to Editors


The three-part series, Untold: The Police, is available to stream now on All 4. Individual episodes will drop on Facebook and Instagram from today. https://www.channel4.com/programmes/untold-the-police

30 second ad copy

Untold: The Police – Life as a Black police officer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TRAf1wdEX4

Untold: The Police – Life as a gay police officer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiP2if0aEas

Stills https://we.tl/t-2msDcHScK0  

Creative credits

Campaign title: Untold: The Police

Production company: Armoury London

Executive Producer: Matt Hichens

Producer: Matt Hichens/Sarah Mavity

Director: Jack Laurance

Untold: The Police – Synopses             

Episode 1 – Life as a Black police officer

T.J. is a black officer from the Metropolitan Police Service and is originally from Tottenham. Rowan is a young black man from Hackney who, as a younger man, was in the police cadets, but his experiences and contact with the police as a young boy and man had a negative impact on his feelings towards a potential career in the police. The two men from similar backgrounds are filmed in what initially seems like a police interview but unfolds into an insightful and striking conversation about policing. T.J. and Rowan explore their shared experiences as a serving police officer and a member of the public, respectively, and how this has been received in their own communities.

Episode 2 – Life as a gay police officer

Tracy is a highly respected and successful serving Merseyside Detective from the LGBTQ+ community. She has been commended for her police work and her work to improve the police service’s approach to inclusivity and acceptance towards the LGBTQ+ community. Ali is a young gay Asian man who has considered a career in the police but was not sure he would be accepted and had doubts about whether he would meet likeminded officers from a similar cultural background with shared experiences. Tracy talks to Ali about how she is committed to creating a more diverse, representative, and effective police service. The setting again is a police station interview room that turns into an open, sensitive, and insightful conversation.

Episode 3 – Life as a Detective

Kimberly is a high-ranking Southampton serving Detective, from an ethnic minority background, who feels passionately about her job. Jennifer is a young woman from Manchester who has considered a career in the police but was apprehensive because of concerns surrounding sexism. Kimberly reassures Jennifer that she believes the police not to be sexist and explains how the police have a zero-tolerance policy towards sexist behaviours. They are filmed in what appears to be a police station interview room that opens as a police interview and turns into a sincere and frank conversation.