Brighton Beach Patrol: Episode 9

Friday 30th 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. This week, trouble breaks out when two families clash on the beach. Gangs of drunken youths cause havoc on a night out. And tea-shop owner David holds a Princess Diana memorial evening.

Every summer, some 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 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 this year.

In this instalment, the summer may be drawing to an end, but the beach is still rammed with visitors intent on soaking up the last few rays of sun. Tensions flare on the shore when a couple of families find themselves too close for comfort. Lifeguard James has to intervene before the confrontation turns violent.

As the sun sets, gangs of drunken juveniles make their way down to the beach, wreaking havoc for PCSOs Gill and Dave. When a fight breaks out, Gill has to think quickly in order to prevent a potential fatality. Elsewhere, it all ends in tears for tea-shop owner David when his Princess Diana memorial evening gets emotional.

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