Producers Handbook

Descriptions or Demonstrations of Criminal Techniques

Descriptions or demonstrations of criminal techniques which contain essential details which could enable the commission of crime must not be broadcast unless editorially justified.

  • This rule applies to common crimes including shoplifting, car or computer related crime. Broadcasts should not include or demonstrate particular techniques that would assist committing such crime.
  • The rule will also apply to those crimes that involve generally unknown methods and techniques, that members of the viewing public would be unlikely to be aware of, for example how to commit ingenious types of fraud.
  • Even in programmes the very subject of which is to examine these types of crime in detail, it will not normally be necessary to show each and every step and technique involved in the commission of the offence. In those rare cases where it is, thus potentially enabling criminally inclined viewers to copy such behaviour, there should be strong editorial justification, for example it might be essential to show all the elements of a crime in order for viewers to be able to understand it properly and, thereby, be able to guard against such crime themselves.