The BEST Episodes of 24 Hours in Police Custody
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Apr 17, 2021
Network: Channel 4
Bedfordshire Police allowed more than 80 cameras to follow their work for this landmark documentary series from the makers of 24 Hours in A&E.
#1 - Love Hurts
Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 6, 2014
Police Constable Cheryldeen Liversidge and Police Constable Kat Alison investigate two strongly contrasting stories about harassment and domestic abuse. Domestic abuse takes up to 40% of police time nationally and is now a priority for Bedfordshire Police, having had a poor record in the past. A scorned wife has dumped an ex-partner's clothes in a charity shop, while another woman complains of a series of highly threatening messages from a man with a violent past. On the surface, two very different cases, but both officers turn the cases they are investigating into something of a crusade and are determined to get to the bottom of what really went on in the private relations between their suspects and the victims.
#2 - The Conspiracy to Murder
Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 29, 2014
This extraordinary episode opens with the dawn arrest of a man on suspicion of conspiracy to murder. The film documents the work of the lead detectives as they investigate and interview the suspect about his involvement in a plot to shoot a man. While driving to work, the victim was hit from behind by another vehicle. When he stepped out to inspect the damage he was shot in his leg by a close range sawn-off shotgun, sustaining life-threatening injuries. The police believe the case arises from a potential love triangle that has spiralled out of control. Detectives have 24 hours to gather enough evidence to charge or release him.
#3 - The Confession of a Paedophile
Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 13, 2014
News spreads across the county about a suspected paedophile trying to abduct young children on their way home from school. Local press coverage has led to hundreds of calls from panicked parents to the police. With the culprit at large, cameras follow the Major Crime Unit as they lead the operation to arrest a third suspect following a nine-year-old girl's statement and an e-fit description. After two previous suspects have been released without charge, have they now got the right man? In the public protection unit, DC Annie Fowler and DC Selena Humphreys believe they have finally gathered enough evidence, including thousands of images and hundreds of videos of extreme child abuse, to ensure the suspect is remanded in prison pending a trial. Following his second arrest, he makes a frank and shocking confession. The detectives take this new information to the Crown Prosecution Service in the hope of preventing him from committing any more offences.
#4 - The Drug Drop
Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 20, 2014
This episode opens with a young man accidentally dropping a large quantity of cocaine from his jacket pocket outside a petrol station - all caught on CCTV. On the case are hard-bitten Detective Constable Colin Knight and fresh-faced Police Constable Oly Tomlinson, who joined the team three months earlier. They get off to a promising start, tracking down the owner of the vehicle the passenger was travelling in. DC Knight brings in his chief suspect for questioning and discovers that, just like the man in the CCTV footage, he has a striking tattoo on the right side of his neck, but could it be a case of mistaken identity? Also brought in to the custody suite is Darren, a man arrested on suspicion of theft of meat from Marks & Spencer. As he is booked into custody it soon becomes apparent he is a heroin addict. Sympathetic Custody Sergeant Pete Fitz-Gibbon tries his best to persuade him to stay strong and get clean. Both cases provide a stark picture about the dark world of young people caught up in a cycle of drug addiction and crime in Luton and the challenges facing the police as they tackle it.
#5 - The Morning After
Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 27, 2014
It's Saturday night in Luton, and Bedfordshire Police are dealing with drunken domestic disputes and a booze-fuelled fight. Police Constables Leanne Turner and Andy Parsons are sent out to investigate an alleged assault against a vulnerable and fragile 75-year-old man in a domestic dispute. The suspect is the man's private carer and has been living with him for the past seven years. When he made the 999 call, the elderly man alleged that he had been slapped in the head with an open palm. But when they arrive, PCs Leanne and Andy are confronted with a distressed victim who insists he does not want them to pursue the matter and who begs them to leave. At the police station, a Polish man arrested for a drunken row with his partner is admitted into custody. He's initially brought in for a 'breach of the peace' - to remove him from the situation and allow him to sober up and cool off - but things take an unexpectedly sinister turn when he whispers to the custody sergeant that he will kill his wife the following day.
#6 - Honour Thy Father
Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 10, 2014
A devout Muslim has been arrested on suspicion of assaulting his daughter with an iron, after she married a man he does not approve of. Bedfordshire Police have set up a dedicated `honour-based violence' unit at Luton, but the investigation falls to DC Rachel Chandler in CID. Will she succeed in finding the evidence before time runs out?
#7 - The Crime of the Century
Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 17, 2014
Drunken abuse, the theft of 98p's worth of fizzy drinks and the joyriding of a 45-seater bus are all in a day's work for acting sergeant Wil Taylor. Some can seem like a waste of police time, while others quickly become serious - such as the case of three sex workers who have been arrested during a raid on a local brothel. Are the women victims, possibly trafficked to the UK from Eastern Europe, or are they running the business and exploiting others? Last in the series
#8 - A Crime of Passion
Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Jan 6, 2015
Return of the documentary following the work of Bedfordshire Police round-the-clock. Detectives are called to an ordinary terraced home in Luton, where they find a disturbing crime scene involving a seriously injured man and woman, and a blood-stained knife. The officers race against time to disentangle who is responsible for the incident, and then build a case against their suspect.
#9 - A Short, Sharp Shock
Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Jan 13, 2015
Two teenage girls are arrested after a fight broke out in a nightclub. And the police also arrest a 61-year-old man who's never spent a night in the cells before.
#10 - Human Traffic
Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired Jan 20, 2015
Police in Luton, Bedfordshire, arrest a man and a woman from Hungary on suspicion of human trafficking, and DC Tom Stean discovers the pair are already wanted for other alleged offences. The forensic team's investigation of the couple's hidden loft space provides evidence against them
#11 - Punchdrunk Love
Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired Jan 27, 2015
The officers of Bedfordshire Police deal with cases of domestic violence this week. A man is arrested after a drinking session when his new wife alleges he hit her twice in the face, but once sober, the couple say they have made up and are now enjoying their honeymoon period. However, for other cases the toxic combination of booze and relationship tensions has more lasting consequences. Footage from police bodycams captures the immediate aftermath of a serious incident where a young man has apparently attacked his pregnant girlfriend after a drunken night out. As well as a series of potential charges, he also faces the prospect of losing his partner and their child for ever
#12 - Age Concern
Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Feb 3, 2015
Several elderly people have been sexually assaulted in a graveyard. The police have a sample of an attacker's DNA from a previous crime scene, and arrest a young man. Will his DNA match?
#13 - Frequent Flyers
Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired Feb 10, 2015
Detective Cathie Layton and legal rep Brett Jones have known each other for 16 years and once worked together in the police, but now they face one another on opposite sides. Brett is called to the station by a regular client who happens to be one of Luton's most prolific burglars - and he's recommending the man offers `no comment' in the interview room
#14 - Bad Blood
Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired Jul 27, 2015
The return of the documentary in which more than 60 cameras are used to follow the work of Bedfordshire Police, from the cells at stations to the operational heart of major investigations. A small town near Luton has been plagued with an outbreak of teen criminality, and DS Emma James and DC Cathie Layton pull a 22-hour shift to find the evidence against a young man accused of robbery and assault. He denies everything and paints himself as the victim. Will they uncover enough to charge, or will he be released?
#15 - Guilty Little Secrets
Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Aug 3, 2015
Bedfordshire Police must decide whether to charge two men arrested as part of a nationwide operation against people possessing and, in some cases, distributing indecent images of children online
#16 - Partners in Crime
Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired Aug 10, 2015
DS Simon Hancock and DC Cathie Layton have 24 hours to interview two men who they suspect are behind a string of knife-point robberies. And neither man knows what the other's saying...
#17 - Mother's Day
Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Aug 17, 2015
It is Mother's Day and a young man accused of a vicious assault has just been released from police custody after he said his mother could provide him with an alibi, but when she arrives at the station she fails to support his story. Detectives now have to find the suspect they let go and issue a warrant for his arrest, but he is nowhere to be found
#18 - A Sixth Sense
Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired Aug 24, 2015
A man behaving erratically while carrying a hockey stick has been arrested and brought into Luton police station after he was reported to be staring through the window of a house, while a young woman has been detained for headbutting a nightclub bouncer. Upstairs in CID, DC Cathie Layton is investigating the case of a man who is alleged to have assaulted a taxi driver and stolen his keys, but when she meets the suspect her instinct tells her all is not what it seems.
#19 - Human Cargo
Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired Apr 20, 2016
Bedfordshire Police investigate banging coming from inside a refrigerated HGV lorry that recently passed through Dover after crossing the Channel. Inside, they find a three-year-old girl, her five-year-old sister and their mother, as well as 12 other migrants who have been smuggled into the UK. The police now face a race against time to ascertain whether they have been illegally trafficked into the UK and deliberately imprisoned in the refrigerated container for more than 17 hours, or whether they have smuggled themselves aboard the lorry without the knowledge of the driver or transport company
#20 - To Catch a Paedophile
Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired Apr 27, 2016
The police race to find evidence to charge two men who've been lured to a fake meeting by paedophile hunters posing as underage girls. But is the involvement of the vigilantes a help or a hindrance?
#21 - Love Thy Neighbour
Season 4 - Episode 3 - Aired May 5, 2016
Tommy Robinson, the founder of the English Defence League, is held in Luton police station following a vicious assault on a Muslim man. policing tensions between extremist groups is a daily challenge for the Bedfordshire Police
#22 - One Punch
Season 4 - Episode 4 - Aired May 12, 2016
Two lives change in a heartbeat after a single punch fells a man outside a nightclub. The blow kills the victim and the police arrest the attacker. Cameras follow every twist and turn as the police try to disentangle what really happened.
#23 - Black Balaclava
Season 4 - Episode 5 - Aired May 19, 2016
Luton faces a rash of armed robberies. The crimes have one thing in common: the victims have undergone the trauma of being violently robbed at knife point. Without good CCTV images, the police have to fall back on some old-fashioned detective skills.
#24 - Home Truths
Season 4 - Episode 6 - Aired May 26, 2016
When does a row at home become a case of domestic violence? That's the tricky question the police face as they are called to intervene in domestic dramas behind closed doors in Bedfordshire.
#25 - Lethal Weapon
Season 4 - Episode 7 - Aired Jun 1, 2016
A man is on the run from Operation Bosun, Bedfordshire police's specialist unit who tackle gun crime. Police believe that the wanted man is lying low for the moment but remains armed and dangerous.