The BEST Episodes of 24 Hours in Police Custody

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Dec 27, 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.

Watch Now
Living Amongst Us

#1 - Living Amongst Us

Season 7 - Episode 8 - Aired Jul 9, 2018

Bedfordshire Police have to confront the issues thrown up by a surge in the number of crimes related to the sexual exploitation and grooming of children by paedophiles. A man is lured to what he believes is a meeting with a 13-year-old girl, but is caught in a sting operation by so-called 'paedophile hunters'. A few days later, the case takes a surprising twist when police are called to a roadside where a pensioner is found badly beaten and suffering a bleed on the brain.

star 7.97
31 votes

#2 - Knifed

Season 8 - Episode 3 - Aired Mar 25, 2019

Detectives race to the scene of a stabbing in broad daylight. Cameras follow every twist and turn of the investigation, revealing the real-life stories behind the familiar headlines about knife crime.

star 7.94
36 votes
Body in the Grass

#3 - Body in the Grass

Season 7 - Episode 1 - Aired May 21, 2018

A woman's body is found in overgrown grassland. When detectives inform her partner of her death, his behaviour marks him out as a chief suspect.

star 7.87
39 votes
A Moment of Madness

#4 - A Moment of Madness

Season 5 - Episode 1 - Aired Jun 5, 2017

A man walks out of a hotel lift covered in blood. He approaches the reception desk shouting that he has killed someone. As the terrified receptionist tries to rid get 999, the man grabs the phone, but the police have been reported.

star 7.86
79 votes
One Punch

#5 - 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.

star 7.85
59 votes

#6 - Smuggled

Season 8 - Episode 4 - Aired Apr 1, 2019

Cameras follow every twist and turn of a real-life police investigation as detectives attempt to catch a suspected drug trafficker before he can escape on a flight to Spain

star 7.85
39 votes
Car Attack

#7 - Car Attack

Season 6 - Episode 2 - Aired Feb 26, 2018

Bedfordshire Police are called to Dunstable Town Centre, where a man has driven a car into a group of revellers outside a kebab shop before fleeing on foot. With a suspect on the loose, cameras follow every twist and turn of the investigation.

star 7.84
32 votes
Family Secrets

#8 - Family Secrets

Season 8 - Episode 2 - Aired Mar 18, 2019

Cameras follow the work of Bedfordshire Police's Internet Child Abuse Investigation Team, which deals with more than 200 cases a year. Nikki Owen is experienced in dealing with some of the most troubling crimes, but this investigation takes her into an area of criminal behaviour that is beyond what she has tackled before.

star 7.76
37 votes
Human Cargo

#9 - 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

star 7.75
56 votes
A Knife Through the Heart

#10 - A Knife Through the Heart

Season 7 - Episode 3 - Aired Jun 4, 2018

A man lies dying in the street from a stab wound to his heart. A friend at the scene is desperate to find out if he will survive but it is now a crime scene and he is not allowed to see the victim.

star 7.74
38 votes
To Catch a Paedophile

#11 - 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?

star 7.72
67 votes

#12 - Wanted

Season 9 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 27, 2021

In the leafy suburbs of Luton, a man's caught on CCTV launching a brutal assault on three women. Soon he's all over Facebook as officers race against time before the suspect goes to ground.

star 7.71
17 votes

#13 - Predators

Season 8 - Episode 1 - Aired Mar 11, 2019

Detectives hunt for two rapists. They race to stop a recent offender from striking again. And can new cutting-edge forensic techniques help them catch a rapist who has evaded justice for 10 years?

star 7.68
44 votes
Sudden Death: Think Murder

#14 - Sudden Death: Think Murder

Season 8 - Episode 6 - Aired Apr 15, 2019

Detectives investigate the sudden death of a 48-year-old woman in Cambridgeshire, and the hunt for clues takes the investigation right across Europe as cameras follow every twist and turn in the investigation.

star 7.67
36 votes
Left for Dead

#15 - Left for Dead

Season 6 - Episode 3 - Aired Mar 5, 2018

A man lies dead in a park in Peterborough and the positioning of his body raises intense suspicions, but rigor mortis has already set in and the trail of evidence is going cold. Who is the victim and how did he come to be dumped overnight in open ground? Cameras follow as detectives are called in to investigate as the case becomes the priority for Bedfordshire Police's Major Crime Unit.

star 7.66
35 votes
Too Close For Comfort

#16 - Too Close For Comfort

Season 6 - Episode 6 - Aired Mar 26, 2018

A woman has reported to Bedfordshire police that she is living in fear because she believes a man who she once regarded as a friend has begun to stalk her, and officers are sent to arrest him. Cameras follow the complainant and the prime suspect as they argue over whether he has crossed a line and what was once friendship has now turned into an unhealthy obsession.

star 7.66
35 votes
The Detective and the Surgeon

#17 - The Detective and the Surgeon

Season 8 - Episode 5 - Aired Apr 8, 2019

The cameras follow an engrossing and surprising real-life investigation into a reported burglary of antiques worth a quarter of a million pounds from a country estate.

star 7.64
39 votes
What Lies Beneath

#18 - What Lies Beneath

Season 7 - Episode 6 - Aired Jun 25, 2018

A man phones police to claim that there are body parts buried in the garden of a house on an estate in Luton and a search team is dispatched, but faces a wall of silence at the scene. Detectives suspect that it is a fantasy but, more worryingly, they may be being deliberately drawn into a long-running and brutal tit-for-tat gang war. Cameras follow every twist and turn of the case as it escalates further when the mother of the original complainant is stabbed in the chest.

star 7.64
33 votes
Fifty Shades of Abuse

#19 - Fifty Shades of Abuse

Season 7 - Episode 5 - Aired Jun 18, 2018

A teenager disappears from hospital after being brought in with serious injuries that suggest she's been tied up and assaulted. Bedfordshire Police investigate.

star 7.63
30 votes
Sex and Corruption

#20 - Sex and Corruption

Season 6 - Episode 1 - Aired Feb 19, 2018

Cameras follow all the twists and turns of the major investigation into an allegation of police corruption, as detectives track down, arrest and then charge a fellow officer.

star 7.63
54 votes
The Conspiracy to Murder

#21 - 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.

star 7.59
83 votes
The Drug Drop

#22 - 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.

star 7.58
52 votes
In Plain Sight

#23 - In Plain Sight

Season 4 - Episode 8 - Aired Jun 8, 2016

As Luton takes to the streets to celebrate its annual May carnival, a man seizes his opportunity to enter a house and sexually assault two young children. Police begin a desperate search through thousands of hours of CCTV footage.

star 7.58
59 votes
Black Balaclava

#24 - 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.

star 7.57
60 votes
Shallow Grave

#25 - Shallow Grave

Season 6 - Episode 4 - Aired Mar 12, 2018

Police dig in the back garden of a house in Luton searching for the body of a woman who disappeared in 2003, believing a painstaking fingertip search might reveal vital clues in a suspected murder enquiry. Natalia Wilkanowska's disappearance left detectives from the Major Crime Unit puzzled and frustrated with the lack of answers to their questions, and cameras follow every twist and turn of an investigation in which detectives have decided it's time to solve the case by turning up the heat on their suspects.

star 7.55
33 votes