The Force

Saturday, October 31 on M4

The Force lays bare the challenges faced by the frontline officers of Hampshire Constabulary. In this episode a woman’s body, burned beyond all recognition, is discovered in a cornfield on an otherwise idyllic summer’s day. Within two days, the police know how their victim met her grisly end; but they don’t know who she or her killer is. House-to-house inquiries lead to a database search of car registrations and the chase is on… As the case unfolds it presents an extraordinary snapshot of Britain in the 21st century – the passions, and divisions hidden beneath the placid surface of middle England – and a unique insight into the fragility of modern policing.

Tuesday, October 27 on 4

In September 2007 someone flicked a lit match into a petrol can at a block of flats in Portsmouth. The fire that ripped through the building killed Kevin Holmes. Nine months later, his murder remains unsolved. It’s a tough case for Hampshire’s Major Crime Unit, which has one of the lowest unsolved crime rates in the UK. The case is handed to an experienced Detective Chief Inspector – the third senior investigating officer to take charge of the case. The trail looks cold. It’s not long before the police make a series of arrests, but can they find the evidence to make the charges stick?

Wednesday, October 21 on M4

Murder, rape, arson. Crimes that may once have been considered the preserve of the inner cities are now routine investigations for the police nationwide: the product of an increasingly complex and fractured society. The Force uncovers the harsh reality of modern detective work: a world of good and evil; order and chaos. As Hampshire police struggle to follow the evidence – or lack of it – BAFTA-winning director Patrick Forbes offers a rare insight into the reality of modern policing.

Tuesday, October 20 on 4

This second episode follows the work of a specialist rape unit in Portsmouth, the first dedicated unit to be established outside London; in other parts of the country rape is bundled in with other crimes and conviction rates can be as low as five per cent. However rape is a uniquely difficult crime to solve. It often takes place behind closed doors with no corroborating evidence, and no outside witnesses: all too often it boils down to one person’s word against another’s. Can Crystal – a unit of dedicated officers – make a difference?

Tuesday, October 13 on 4

With unprecedented and unvarnished access to Hampshire Constabulary, this new series lays bare the challenges faced by frontline officers. In this first episode a woman’s body, burned beyond all recognition, is discovered lying in a cornfield on an idyllic summer’s day. Two days into the case, police know their victim has been strangled, her body carried in a suitcase to a field near a tiny Hampshire village, and then set alight; but not who she or her killer is. The chase is on, and as the case unfolds it presents an extraordinary snapshot of Britain in the 21st century.

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