Crimewatch Roadshow presenter Michelle Ackerley has revealed how the new series will tackle terrorism – and how the public can help catch terrorists before they have a chance to commit atrocities in the UK.
Last year’s show had an impressive success rate when it came to assisting police with their investigations, with viewers’ calls and emails leading to more than 60 arrests in cases involving murder, robbery and rape.
But in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing and the London Bridge attack, the new series – fronted by The One Show presenter Ackerley and former police officer Rav Wilding – will begin with a strong focus on terrorism.
“Obviously now is such an important time; everyone’s been so shocked by the recent terror attacks, it’s very much ingrained in people’s thoughts,” Ackerley tells RadioTimes.com.
“So we’re starting the series with a special programme live from Scotland Yard that leads on counter-terrorism in the UK.”
And will she be appealing for the public’s help? “Very much so.”
Beginning this Monday, Crimewatch Roadshow will make its way around the country, going live on BBC1 every weekday for the next four weeks. Ackerley and Wilding will ask viewers to contact them about everything from knife crime to law-breaking off-road bikers to a missing pygmy goat.
Normally, the show’s appeals focus on helping police identify suspects from CCTV images, but when it comes to terrorism, Crimewatch Roadshow has taken a different approach.
The TV presenter explains: “It’s almost about creating a sense of community for people to be more aware and be thinking, ‘Well actually I’ve got a bit of information on this and this doesn’t seem quite right, so I’m going to offer that information, I’m going to call in to the team, call into Crimestoppers or contact the police directly.’
“There could be something even beforehand, before something has taken place.”
The roadshow will later head to Manchester, Ackerley’s home city, to examine the aftermath of the 22nd May Ariana Grande concert bombing. She and Wilding will take viewers behind the scenes to see how the emergency services prepare “for when the worst happens”.
“Often we as a nation only see the reaction to things, and I think it will be very interesting for people to see exactly what goes on behind the scenes and how they prepare for attacks such as that,” she says.
“You know what, we’ve always been looking under the surface as to what the emergency services do when there might be a large-scale attack.
“But I think for this year it’s become far more relevant and obviously far more topical because it’s something that has literally just happened, so the information that we’ll be reporting on this year will be slightly different from past years because it’s very, very reactive.”
Crimewatch Roadshow will air every weekday morning at 9.15am from Monday 12th June – Friday 7th July