Canny Cops: BBC Three documentary follows North East police as they raid, chase robbers and shut down a pub

A new documentary will put a police team in the spotlight as they try to keep order in former colliery communities.

Friday, 5th July 2019, 7:31 am

Canny Cops will be uploaded to the BBC iplayer at 10am on Wednesday, July 3, as a three-part box set through its BBC Three channel.

Its makers say they were given unprecedented access to Durham Constabulary as its officers patrol Peterlee, Horden and Dawdon in Seaham, as well as the wider area.

A spokesperson for the programme team said: “Darkly comic, surprising and inviting, this series will take us into the heart of an often overlooked corner of the country, as seen through the eyes of the cops and the charismatic, witty and complex people they police.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Sergeant Terry Hill and PCSO Vikki Gill are followed during the Canny Cops documentary. Photo by BBC/Minnow Films/Jack Rampling.

“Years of austerity have disproportionately affected the North East of England and County Durham is now home to some of the most acute areas of deprivation in Britain.

“This is a region that was once the epicentre of England’s Industrial North East, and the birthplace of the steam railway.

“But now the pits and the factories have closed, and the thriving railway industry has gone.

“For the communities who live here, and the officers charged with keeping them in line, there’s no place like home.

The show follows officers as they deal with residents living in the numbered streets in Horden. Photo BBC/Minnow Films/Jack Rampling.

“Life might be tough and towns might be astonishingly remote, but everyone connected with this part of the world is bound by a humour as dark as the pits themselves.

“Nevertheless, high levels of crime and drugs mean the police have their work cut out for them but when you’re on first name terms with the criminals it’s hard not to do the job with a smile on your face and go the extra mile to get people on the straight and narrow.”

The episodes, filmed over seven months, takes viewers to both sides of the custody cell door and “into the heart of a community that doesn’t mince its words.”

The programme, made by Minnow Films, follows officers as they target offenders in Horden, the search for a hammer-wielding robbery who struck at one of the village’s bookies, a stabbing in Dawdon, and a brutal brawl.

The custody suite at Peterlee Police Station plays a part in following the work of police officers in East Durham. Photo by BBC/Minnow Films/Jack Rampling.
The work of detectives features in the Canny Cops series. Photo credit BBC/Minnow Films/Jack Rampling.
Programme Name: Canny Cops - TX: n/a - Episode: They Don't Like Us Round Here (No. 2) - Picture Shows: Sergeant Terry - (C) Minnow Films - Photographer: Jack Rampling