Essex Police to feature in BBC documentary

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The painstaking dedication that goes into investigating a murder will be the focus of a new BBC Two documentary series filmed with Essex Police.

Murder 24/7 follows three murder investigations which happened in the county from the moment the crime happens right through to arrest and conclusion at court.

The programme, which begins on Monday 24 February at 9pm on BBC Two, follows Essex Police’s Major Crime team detectives as they piece together the clues in each case to lead them to the suspects.

The documentary series shows how officers from across Essex Police come together to support each other when a murder happens – from senior investigating officers, who lead a murder investigation to manhunt specialists, blood spatter and forensic specialists, phone and intelligence analysts and uniformed officers who are often the first to arrive at the scene of a crime.

Murder 24/7 is the first time Essex Police has opened its doors to the public, allowing unprecedented access to a team of film-makers to show the work of major crime team detectives who investigate the most serious of crimes.

Chief Constable BJ Harrington said: “We know our detectives here in Essex are amongst the finest in the world and that’s why we took the opportunity to showcase just some of their work through this BBC documentary.

“When a murder happens, which is thankfully not very often, our detectives work around the clock, often at great personal sacrifice, to follow up every lead, support devastated families and hunt those responsible.

“But what this programme really captures is, that while our detectives will lead the investigation and the hunt for suspects, it really is a force-wide effort to support victims, solve crime, hunt offenders and bring them to justice.

“Murder 24/7 really shows that when these terrible crimes happen our whole force comes together to catch a killer.”

Det Supt Morgan Cronin, Essex Police’s Head of Major, Economic and Cyber Crime, said: “At the heart of every murder or manslaughter is a victim who has lost their life and a devastated family left behind.

“We hope that this programme shows the residents of our county that when the very worst happens we work determinedly to piece together what happened, catch those responsible and ensure they face justice.

“Murder 24/7 captures in real time, the dedication and commitment of all of our officers as well as the complexity of an investigation and the painstaking work that goes into gathering evidence – from trawling CCTV to intricate forensic work and mobile phone analysis – which is often frustrated by those seeking to avoid capture and justice.

“We hope this programme gives the public and the residents of Essex a greater understanding of the challenges of these investigations but also reassures them of the professionalism, determination and commitment of our officers.”

Ruth Kelly, executive producer at Expectation Factual said: “We wanted to produce a police documentary series with a unique approach, rooted in what really happens when someone is murdered.

“We hope that the series shines a light on the extraordinary team of detectives, forensic investigators and specialists who come together, working round the clock, to solve murder cases.”

Across five episodes the programme will follow detectives as they investigate: the fatal stabbing of 49-year-old Carl Hopkins and the attempted murder of his friend in Colchester on February 10, 2019; the murder of 36-year-old Courtney Valentine-Brown who was stabbed to death in Southend on February 21, 2019; and the manslaughter of June Knight who was thrown from her care home in balcony in Southend on December 10, 2018.

Murder 24/7: Essex will air at 9pm on BBC Two on Monday February 24, Tuesday February 25, Wednesday February 26, Monday March 2 and Tuesday March 3.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]