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24 Hours in Police Custody – Season 1 (2014)
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24 Hours in Police Custody – Season 1 (2014)

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Channel 4’s 24 Hours in Police Custody was a gripping police procedural. After a long investigation, detectives were convinced they’d cracked the case. The suspect was arrested during a tense raid. Cops piled on the pressure during interrogations, producing evidence with a flourish to wrong-foot him, while his spivvy lawyer scrambled to keep up. The suspect’s body language betrayed him and he began prowling his cell like a caged tiger. Yet there was still a climactic twist to come. Agatha Christie or Colin Dexter would have been proud. Except, of course, this wasn’t fiction. It was factual documentary.

In fact it was a masterful new fly-on-the-wall series from the makers of 24 Hours in A&E, which has been running for six series, pulls in consistently respectable ratings and has won a Bafta.
Eighty all-seeing cameras followed Bedfordshire police as they tried to gather enough evidence to charge Luton man Mahboob Baig, suspected of conspiracy to murder after a love triangle spiralled out of control. His brother-in-law ordered a hit on his love rival and law-abiding accountant Atif Ali had been shot in the leg by a sawn-off shotgun, sustaining life-threatening injuries. The case featured on Crimewatch and has since been through the courts.

IMDB (8.0)

24 Hours in Police Custody @ Wikipedia

Episode 1 – The Conspiracy to Murder

24 Hours In Police Custody follows officers as they respond to 999 calls and arrest suspects and witness the relentless traffic from the custody cells to the interview rooms. Bedfordshire Police allows over eighty cameras to follow the work of their officers in unprecedented detail from the cells at Luton Police Station to the operational heart of major crime investigation and the police interrogation rooms. ‘The Conspiracy To Murder’ documents the work of the lead detectives as they investigate and interview a suspect about his involvement in a plot to shoot a man. Detectives have 24 hours to gather enough evidence to charge or release him.

Episode 2 – Love Hurts

PCs Cheryldeen Liversidge and Kat Alison investigate two very different domestic disputes. A woman has dumped her ex-husband’s clothes at a charity shop, another is receiving threatening messages from a man with a violent past.


Episode 3 – The Confession of a Paedophile

The third episode of this critically-acclaimed documentary series follows the team of four detectives working fulltime on child abuse cases in the dedicated Safeguarding Investigation Unit at Luton Police Station. News spreads across the county about a suspected paedophile trying to abduct young children on their way home from school. Local press coverage has led to hundreds of calls from panicked parents to the police. With the culprit at large, cameras follow the Major Crime Unit as they lead the operation to arrest a third suspect following a nine-year-old girl’s statement and an e-fit description. After two previous suspects have been released without charge, have they now got the right man?

Episode 4 – The Drug Drop

This episode of ‘24 Hours In Police Custody’ opens with a young man accidentally dropping a large quantity of cocaine from his jacket pocket outside a petrol station – all caught on CCTV. The Detective Constable in charge soon brings his chief suspect in for questioning. Also brought into the custody suite is Darren, a man arrested on suspicion of theft of meat from Marks and Spencer. As he is booked into custody it soon becomes apparent he is a heroin addict. Both cases provide a stark picture about the dark world of young people caught up in a cycle of drug addiction and crime in Luton and the challenges facing the police in tackling it.

Episode 5 – The Morning After

It is Saturday night in Luton and Bedfordshire Police are dealing with drunken domestic disputes and a booze-fuelled fight. Police Constables Leanne Turner and Andy Parsons are sent out to investigate an alleged assault against a vulnerable and fragile 75 year-old man in a domestic dispute. At the police station, a Polish man arrested for a drunken row with his partner is admitted into custody. Initially brought in for a ‘breach of the peace’ – to remove him from the situation and allow him to sober up and cool off – things take an unexpectedly sinister turn when he whispers to the custody sergeant that he will kill his wife the following day. The police deal with both difficult cases to the deafening soundtrack of a persistent ranting, kicking and screaming from a young man brought in for drunken fighting inside a pub.

Episode 6 – Honour Thy Father

In Luton, a devout Muslim has been arrested for violently assaulting his daughter with an iron after she married a man he doesn’t approve of.

Episode 7 – The Crime Of The Century

Drunken abuse, the theft of 98p’s worth of fizzy drinks and the joyriding of a 45-seater bus are all in a day’s work for acting sergeant Wil Taylor. Some can seem like a waste of police time, while others quickly become serious – such as the case of three sex workers who have been arrested during a raid on a local brothel. Are the women victims, possibly trafficked to the UK from Eastern Europe, or are they running the business and exploiting others?

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