In 2014 Bedfordshire Police took the unprecedented move to allow cameras into the force 24/7 to film a fly-on-the-wall documentary capturing some of the issues faced by police officers today.
The force welcomed the makers of ‘24 Hours in A&E’ and ‘One Born Every Minute’, Garden Productions to the force, allowing them to install 80 fixed-rig cameras into areas of Bedfordshire Police filming policing in action 24/7 over a six week period.
The decision to welcome the cameras was based largely on having confidence in the ‘Team Bedfordshire’ workforce, confidence in the production company and confidence in the benefits of transparency.
The Force Executive, supported by the Police and Crime Commissioner, all strongly believe in the importance of giving the public an opportunity to see the reality of police work today. It is a complex business, staffed by extremely hard working dedicated individuals who are committed to helping people and making the communities they police a safer place.
The production company captured enough footage to produce 20 episodes, which broadcast on Channel 4 over a five-series run throughout 2014/15. Each programme has attracted in the region of 2 million viewers per episode.
TV Critics have praised the programme and the force has been inundated with positive comments from members of the public as well as receiving praise from fellow policing colleagues across the UK.
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 said: “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.”
‘Compelling’ - Guardian Guide
‘Excellent’ - The Sun TV Mag
‘Still the best cop show on television’ - The Times
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