Channel 4 is to spend another 24 Hours in Police Custody as the critically acclaimed hit series returns for a fourth run in April with a new approach and a focus on major crime stories with a raft of hard hitting new programmes.
This observational documentary series will follow a number of serious crime investigations that very much reflect the current state of the world we live in. From murder and rape to people trafficking and modern day slavery, to accusations of terrorism and members of the public taking the law into their own hands, the series offers unprecedented access into the day-to-day challenges of modern policing.
Filmed by a combination of fixed-rig and handheld cameras, the landmark series will follow officers at Bedfordshire Police as they respond to 999 calls, arrest suspects and place them in custody. The cameras follow the detectives as they begin their investigations under the pressure of the 24-hour custody clock and the intensely dramatic moment when the police case is put to the suspect in interview.
With access granted into new areas across the Force including The Major Crime Unit, the Rape Investigation Unit and the team responsible for investigating high profile sex crimes, each episode captures in minute detail the twists and turns of a police case as evidence is pieced together which will ultimately lead to a charge or the suspect’s release.
With access granted into new areas across the Force including The Major Crime Unit, the Rape Investigations Unit and the team who investigate historical allegations of sexual abuse, each episode captures in minute detail the twists and turns of a police case as evidence is pieced together which will ultimately lead to a charge or the suspect’s release.
The series will feature several compelling new stories:
- Two lives change in a heartbeat when a young man is punched once and declared dead. The Major Crime Unit investigate the case – will the evidence point to a charge of murder, manslaughter or was it self-defence? Detectives are determined to find answers for the victim’s family.
- A young woman claims to have been violently sexually assaulted; her complaint is taken up by the Rape Investigation Unit. She waives her right to anonymity to tell her side of the story, while the unit interview the suspect.
- Detectives from the serious crime unit hunt down two men they believe are behind a spree of robberies at knifepoint. Old-fashioned detective skills are needed after the CCTV fails to capture sufficient evidence.
- A couple are hunting paedophiles by posing online as underage girls. They expect the men they entrap to be charged by the police but what effect does this modern day vigilantism have on police resources? Will their involvement have an impact on the legal outcome of the cases they bring to the police?
- With the migrant crisis dominating the news agenda, a woman with two young children are amongst a group of migrants who’ve been discovered locked in the back of a refrigerated lorry – police face a race against the clock to find out if the driver is responsible for people trafficking.
- Armed police are tracking one of Bedfordshire Police’s most wanted men. He is on the run for firearms offences and it is believed he remains armed and dangerous.
- Extremist groups who seek to exploit racial and religious tensions are operating in Luton. The police are called in to help a woman who fears her husband will take her to fight with Isis in Syria.
Alisa Pomeroy, Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor for Documentaries, said: “With its dramatic investigations and unprecedented access to police interview rooms, 24 Hours in Police Custody gave us real-life police drama that captured the public’s attention. These new films tell the story of some of the most pressing issues affecting Britain today and we’re thrilled to be bringing this important series back.”
Simon Ford from The Garden comments: “ We’ve always known that the public have a huge appetite for watching crime stories on television, but as we filmed this series we realised we were in the privileged position of watching real life crimes every bit as powerful as drama playing out in front of our eyes. It is this, which makes this series of films so powerful and so unusual. ”
24 Hours in Police Custody is produced by award-winning production company, The Garden (24 Hours in A&E, Britain’s Spending Secrets.) The Executive Producers are Simon Ford, Hamo Forsyth and Flavia Taylor and the Series Producer/Director is John Douglas. The series was commissioned by Alisa Pomeroy, Commissioning Editor for Documentaries at Channel 4.