Police to star in TV documentary

HOW Beds Police fights crime and protects the public will be shown in graphic detail on BBC1 next week when the scenes of crime officers from Beds and Herts Scientific Services unravel the secrets of forensic science in a brand new documentary.

The 40 minute documentary called Crime Scene Forensics will be screened at 10.35pm on Tuesday January 17 on BBC1 as part of the Crime Season. Made by Raw Cut TV, the documentary team followed scenes of crime officers for a year between 2010 and 2011 providing a rare insight into how the forensic ‘detectives’ use the very latest in forensic science techniques to bring some of the most dangerous criminals to justice.

The officers use their expertise to gather clues at the scene of a crime and piece together the puzzle of what happened, using state of the art methods at the forefront of criminal investigation.

The film shows the Scene of Crime Officers (SOCOs) being called to a shotgun shooting in Luton and, using complicated fingerprint and ballistics analysis, they unearth vital evidence that helps get the suspects behind bars. On the other side of the town, the hard work of the SOCOs pays off when the painstaking examination of the scene of a violent assault allows the team to paint a picture of how this gruesome attack unfolded and leads to the arrest if a gang of attackers.

Principal SOCO Mark Watson is featured in the documentary, he describes how it felt to be under the cameras gaze; “Initially I found it quite difficult to concentrate on what I was doing as well as working with the cameraman. Over time though I found that the opportunity to explain how we interpret scenes and gather evidence gave me greater confidence and I hope that the final programme conveys the passion I have after many years for investigating crime scenes for the Police.”

Dick Johnson, Head of Scientific Services added; “This documentary highlights the real challenges faced every day by skilled and dedicated forensic teams who work tirelessly to provide quality forensic evidence in the fight against criminality. Those people who commit crime in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire should know that we will, as the documentary demonstrates, deploy the full power of forensic science to assist in their apprehension and prosecution through the criminal justice system.”

Producer Director for Raw Cut TV, Matt Fisher, who made the documentary for the BBC, said: “We were granted unprecedented access by Bedfordshire Police to the Beds and Herts Scientific Service officers. The filming took us into some challenging situations and areas that the public never see.

It was often difficult to film with unsocial hours. We would occasionally get a call in the middle of the night inviting us to be at a crime scene as soon as possible. We’re really proud of the programme as it gives viewers a rare and valuable insight in to the fascinating and specialist work of the Scene of Crime Officers and the forensic laboratory specialists.

Although it has taken over a year to make the programme, thanks to the hard work of all the officers involved, being able to tell the story of how the criminals were made to face their punishment has made it a very rewarding experience. Following the work of the Scene of Crime Officers is definitely not a job for the squeamish or the faint of heart, but it certainly makes gripping viewing!”

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