Sussex Police in new fly-on-the-wall TV series


Lights, cameras, police action

Lights, cameras, police action in Brighton

A three-part, prime time ITV documentary series, based at John Street Police Station, in Brighton, is in production.

The series, which has working title of ‘The Nick’,  has been commissioned by the ITV Head of Factual Programming, Richard Klein and aims to let viewers know what it’s like to police Brighton and Hove.

Three two-person film crews are filming from May until August, as I discovered on my way home last week. I was waiting for the bus stop near St Peter’s Church when a shoal of police cars arrived at St Peter’s Place in a blaze of flashing lights and wailing sirens. An ITV camera crew was also in tow.

A 22-year old man who appeared to be acting suspiciously ran from police as they approached to speak to him near The Level in Brighton. Police gave chase  and stopped him in St Peters Place.

A man has been charged with two offences of resisting police in the execution of their duty, and on offence of assault on police. He is due to appear on bail at Brighton Magistrates Court on July 24.

Whether this incident makes the final cut for the TV series remains to be seen.

Sussex Police was  approached by the programme makers, Renegade Pictures, in August 2012.  Last year, police chiefs agreed to two non-broadcast ‘taster’ films being made, so that the producers could explore the logistics of filming such a series, and the Force could carefully consider its working relationship with those involved to see if there was an appetite to proceed.

Chief Superintendent Neville Kemp said: “I had the support of the Chief Constable and while of course, there are some risks with something like this, I am continually impressed by the professionalism and dedication of my officers and staff who are committed to keeping our community safe.

“I want the public to see first-hand the complexities of policing, and the demands on my officers and staff. Many of them go above and beyond the call of duty to keep the public safe. It is a demanding job and we have some very dedicated people willing to do extraordinary things.

“In the last few years we have seen a number of stories damage public trust and confidence in the British police. I am hugely proud to be a British police officer and welcome transparency and accountability – after all it is the public who pay for us. That is why I think it is right to let the film makers in.

“I’m also confident that my officers and staff deliver top class policing that will make the police and the public who watch the series proud of our policing service.”

Richard Klein, head of factual programming at ITV said: “Policing modern Britain isn’t easy, and yet we all expect the very best of our police forces. The chance to explore just how difficult this is, juggling manpower and public duty with a limited budget and the ever-increasing complexities of the modern world – and this in the context of the ever-growing expectations of the public about what their police officers are actually supposed to be doing; and then set that in the sprawling, toursity, urban conurbation that is 2014 Brighton: that is a chance few would turn down. I am grateful and very pleased indeed that Sussex police and the Brighton division in particular have allowed ITV to make a documentary series portraying the realities of modern policing.”