Sunderland rape probe to feature in television documentary on police CSI team

A police team’s work to snare rapists in Sunderland will be the focus of a new prime-time documentary.

By Fiona Thompson
Tuesday, 30 April, 2019, 13:10
A Northumbria Police crime scene manager looks for evidence at interior crime scene. Copyright Blast! Films, photographer: James Incledon.

Forensics: The Real CSI will feature the Wearside inquiry as part of the BBC Two series, which will follow Northumbria Police in three weekly instalments.

The hour-long show, which goes out as the second episode, joins the specialists as they are called to a report from a woman saying she had been raped by two unknown men in a block of flats in the city.

Samples help start the inquiry as they look to help detectives bring the pair to justice.

But with two as-yet unknown people’s DNA to trace, identifying individual DNA profiles for comparison with the national DNA database is no simple matter.

The series also follows an inquiry into gun shots fired at a home in Newcastle, with forensic evidence captured to catch the shooter, and a probe launched after the discovery of a man’s body in his flat, following the work of a forensic pathology as he helps officers establish whether he has been murdered.

It also covers the dawn-time attack of a man in his own home by two still-to-be-identified thugs.

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A Northumbria Police crime scene investigator reaching into box at a crime scene at night. Copyright Blast! Films, photographer: James Incledon.

Northumbria Police’s Head of Crime, Chief Superintendent Lisa Orchard said: “There is a lot of fantastic work going on at Northumbria Police but much of it goes unnoticed behind closed doors.

“Our forensics teams get very little recognition outside of the organisation but their work is vital.

“We live in an age where a single hair or a speck of blood could make or break a case.

“This documentary gives the public an opportunity to see how important their roles are to the force while also showing the realities of working with forensics.”

The first episode will be screened tomorrow at 9pm, with the Sunderland inquiry to feature the week after, on Wednesday, May 8, at the same time.