Soho Vice Premiere

This gripping new documentary series follows the work of the Metropolitan Police Vice Unit. In the first episode, officers risk life and limb as they go undercover in the heart of Soho to close down an illegal clip joint. Elsewhere, undercover policewomen aim to catch kerb crawlers who are prowling the streets for sex.

Prostitution, extortion, paedophilia, extreme pornography and kerb crawling are everyday facts of life for the hardened men and women of CO-14 – the Metropolitan Police Vice Unit. With exclusive access guaranteed, this action-packed series tells the previously untold story of life on the front line of a darker, seedier London, where every perversion is available at a price.

The officers of this dynamic and elite unit have a simple brief – to catch the purveyors and customers of London’s sex and drugs trade. The duties of a vice squad officer vary according to the target. Their methods range from walking sleazy backstreets dressed as prostitutes to posing as children in internet chat rooms in a bid to ensnare paedophiles.

One team of officers tackles the shops that sell under-the-counter extreme pornography, while another reactive arm of the unit is on call 24 hours a day to crack down on that other vice – alcohol and the public disorder that comes with it.

By day, these same officers may be rescuing women from the suburban brothels of Eastern European sex-slave smugglers, or helping runaways forced to work in prostitution. They also carry out checks on the welfare of workers in semilegitimate brothels in the heart of Soho.

Having to view hundreds of hours of extreme pornography and listen to harrowing stories from rescued women and children can take its toll on the officers. But the men and women of the vice unit boast a healthy graveyard humour and a spirit of camaraderie that helps them through the toughest of assignments.

This week, officers target a dodgy night-time venue that is extorting hard-earned money from unsuspecting customers. And policewomen in disguise set out to catch men on the hunt for sex.

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