Brighton Beach Patrol: Episode 5

Friday 2nd October 8.00pm

Continuing this week is the documentary series following the work of the police, lifeguards and RNLI volunteers who patrol Brighton’s worldfamous beach. In this episode, police must step in when a domestic dispute turns nasty. Community support officers track a thief. The RNLI crew responds to reports of a drifting dinghy. And 10,000 cheerleaders hit Brighton for the UK’s biggest cheerleading event.

Every summer, eight million people descend on Brighton as the town’s population doubles in size during the holiday season. The big draw is the world-famous beach, one of Britain’s most iconic seaside destinations. Filmed throughout the summer of 2009, this series follows the emergency services on land and sea, day and night, as they work to ensure that holidaymakers’ good times do not end in disaster.

The cameras follow the work of Brighton’s lifeguards, who last year saved six lives and carried out 41 rescues, and the police community support officers, who patrol the beach and enforce the town’s bylaws and regulations. They are supported by the RNLI, who coordinate sea rescues in their lifeboats. These vessels can be called out at a moment’s notice to save boats and swimmers in distress. The programme also catches up with the officers behind Sussex Police’s ‘Operation Marble’, which aims to stop drunk revellers running wild through the town’s streets every weekend.

Through the work of the emergency services, ‘Brighton Beach Patrol’ meets people from all walks of life, from drag queens and beach cleaners to teashop owners, nightclub bosses, hotel managers and fishermen. The series is set against the backdrop of Brighton’s year-round programme of festivals and events, ranging from Gay Pride to the Brighton Carnival and the season-ending White Air Festival.

Together, the cops, characters and partygoers form a rich and diverse assortment of human life – a testament to why Brighton remains one of the country’s top tourist destinations, with record numbers of visitors for the current summer season.

This week, things get serious for Brighton’s police when a domestic incident takes an ugly turn and the officers are forced to restore order. Down on the promenade, community support officers Gill and Dave try to rumble a robber when they hear that a safe has been stolen from a local hotel.

Elsewhere, the RNLI crew receives a call alerting them to a drifting dinghy at sea. However, with differing reports of the number of people on board, it is hard to get a clear picture of the situation. The crew must respond as quickly as possible in case any passengers have fallen overboard.

Also this week, the town is swamped with sequins, batons and pom-poms when more than 10,000 cheerleaders descend on Brighton for the International Cheer and Dance Championships – the UK’s biggest cheerleading event.

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