The Open Media Unit and Social Sciences present:
THE MET: POLICING LONDON
Monday 8 June 2015
9pm on BBC1
10.35pm on BBC1 Scotland
Monday 8 June, sees the first episode of The Met: Policing London on BBC1 at 9pm, a new 5-part series, filmed over the course of a year.
This series follows officers of Britain’s biggest and busiest police service as they deal with life, death, crime and it’s victims, all across the capital.
The killing of a young black man called Mark Duggan by a Met officer sparked the 2011 riots. Now an Inquiry is about to decide if the killing was lawful and Scotland Yard is anxious about renewed racial tension and more riots in London.
In 2011, a 29-year-old black man and suspected gang member called Mark Duggan was fatally shot by a firearms office in Tottenham. The officer believed Duggan had a gun and that he might use it. The Met’s handling of the situation in the days that followed sparked some of the worst riots in London’s history. Now, an Inquiry is about to announce whether the killing was lawful or unlawful. It’s creating anxiety in Scotland Yard and tension on the streets of Tottenham, one of the most racially diverse areas of Britain and home to the Duggan family.
Management at Scotland Yard is busy planning around the verdict: whatever the outcome they are anxious that it may spark fresh riots. Victor Olisa is one of just 5 Borough Commanders in the Met from a black or ethnic background. He was moved to Tottenham after the riots to try to heal the Met’s relationship with some of the community. When the verdict is announced, his station becomes the focus of community frustrations and the pressure is on Victor to manage the situation which he does by asking for help from community leaders.
In the weeks that follow, tensions between some of London’s black community and the Met are running high. Police think it’s time for a new approach. At the annual Splash street party in Brixton they work with the black community to police the event the way the community wants it policed. But can this approach work when gangs have caused chaos in previous years? And can there ever be a long-term solution to the troubled history of London’s police and some of the city’s black community.
Mistaken identity leaves a young father dead and detectives struggling to catch his killers. Brixton CID hunt a violent sexual offender before he attacks again and Notting Hill Carnival sees London’s biggest police operation.
A quiet after work drink ends in tragedy when a 34-year-old father is mistaken for another man and stabbed to death outside a pub in central London. With little evidence to go on, murder detective John Sandlin hopes that CCTV will give him the vital answers he needs to bring the killers to justice.
In Brixton, CID officer Tracey Miller is on the hunt for a very particular sex offender who has been targeting Muslim women in the area. With only a photo of the man and no name, it’s a race against time to catch the attacker before he strikes again.
Notting Hill Carnival is one of the biggest street parties in the world and the biggest event in the Metropolitan Police’s calendar. With 14 thousand cops on duty over the party weekend, at a cost of £7 million pounds, the pressure is on for the officers to balance the carnival spirit with keeping the public safe.
London by night has it own challenges. From abusive drunks to high value robberies, burglars caught in the act and the stresses of mental health, tackling the cities crime is different after dark.
On an average night, the Met receives over 4000 emergency calls, keeping London’s 800 on-duty response cops busy from dusk ‘til dawn.
Crimes thrives in the shadows and in the residential streets of North London, a burglar has been caught in the act and it’s down to PC Waz Din to, literally, talk him down when the suspect is found hanging from a first floor window.
8 miles away, on the busy streets of Soho, something sinister is lurking behind the bright lights. For the past two years, Detective Superintendent Kevin Southworth has been gathering evidence on the thieves and drug dealers exploiting the area. Tonight, with the help of 400 riot-trained officers, he’ll make his move.
After dark, London’s clubs and bars come alive but as the punters spill out onto the city streets, it’s up to the cops to take the abuse from punters who can’t hold their booze. And the long night can be a lonely time for those suffering from mental health issues as Constables Ian Gray and Christine Wratten rush to help two Londoners who are feeling suicidal.
Trident, the Met’s specialist gang unit, tackle drug dealers in South London, police in Camden are overwhelmed by violent moped-enabled attacks and officers in Brixton deal with the terrible repercussions of knife crime.
Gangs are a major problem for police in at least 20 of London’s 32 boroughs. Detectives Stuart McNaughton and Bob Dolce work for Trident, the Met’s specialist gang unit. As increasingly younger boys and girls are being lured into the gang lifestyle, Bob and Stuart have focused on London’s most dangerous gang, working undercover to take down it’s leaders and stop the lucrative drug trade thriving on the streets of South London.
Wealthy residents of Camden, North London, have been plagued by a wave of violent snatch-and-grab thefts by robbers using mopeds to evade police. Suspects are often only in their teens and cops are discouraged from chasing the criminals. Public confidence in the police is running low and it’s up to Borough Commander Richard Tucker to win back local trust and wipe out the problem.
Police Constables Tim Dawes and Steph Mills have been patrolling the streets of Brixton for over 5 years and deal with knife crime on an almost daily basis. But nothing can prepare them for the shock of a vicious knife attack in broad daylight when it’s up to them to try to save the life of an innocent teenage boy.
A new Met recruit must learn his way around the London streets, Camden officers deal with the highs and lows of policing the public and Homicide investigate the tragic death of a four-month-old baby.
In the past year, over 2000 officers have joined the ranks of the Metropolitan police, tasked with keeping the streets of London safe for it’s 8 million residents, 24 hours a day. Over 50% of new Met officers are from outside London and recruit, Yorkshireman Tom Hebblethwaite, has his work cut out finding his way around the city streets. During Tom’s on-the-ground training he must achieve some vital goals from making an arrest to learning to march before he can graduate and ‘pass out’ in front of top cop and fellow northerner, Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.
The streets of London are a challenge for even the most experienced police constables and response officers Caroline Hay and Karl Davies are old hands at dealing with the ups-and-downs of policing the public in Camden, North London. Whilst putting up with verbal abuse from angry buskers is just part of the job, it’s protecting some of societies more vulnerable individuals that makes Caroline reflect on why she joined the service.
In East London, Detective Jason Weald is nearing retirement and must call on his years of experience to get to the bottom of the tragic death of a four-month-old baby. His team struggle to keep their personal and professional opinions separate as the quest to find justice in this emotional case divides the homicide detectives.
To find out more:
To accompany the series, OMU has produced a free poster looking at the way police fight crime and how it has changed over the years. Copies can be obtain by visiting OpenLearn.
This 5-part series was commissioned by the Open Media Unit , and is supported by the Social Science Faculty, with particular relevance to Q57 BA (Hons) Social Policy and Criminology and Q48 BA (Hons) Criminology and Psychological Studies.