The brand new eleventh series of 24 Hours in Police Custody begins tonight, with the Channel 4 documentary series set to be as gripping as ever this time around.
Ahead of the new series’ debut, RadioTimes.com has two exclusive previews teasing what’s to come.
We also had a chat with Detective Inspector Tom Hamm of Bedfordshire’s Criminal Investigation Team about this episode’s big case, which delves into the assault of three women caught on CCTV – and the race to find the perpetrator after the footage was released on Facebook.
But could sharing the news on social media hinder the investigation? The first exclusive clip takes a look at the effect of social media on the search.
“This was an unusual attack as we believe that Hornea [the perpetrator] was taken aback when he realised that there were people in the property after he rang the doorbell, which is why he resorted to such violence,” Hamm explains of how he thinks the attack played out.
Social media played a key part in this particular investigation, but Hamm is keen to stress that uploading clips can actually have a detrimental effect when it comes to tracking the culprit down. “The advice we would give to people is to not circulate any CCTV footage on social media, but to give it to police and we will use it in our investigation when appropriate.
“We understand what the victim’s family were trying to achieve in this case as they wanted this man caught, but there is always a risk that a perpetrator could see footage like this going viral and go even more underground.”
While this suspect was eventually caught has pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court to wounding, GBH, ABH, robbery, theft and burglary, The Mirror reports, it was not easy to find him, with Hamm explaining: “The biggest challenge was locating the suspect once he fled the UK as he travelled between several countries in order to avoid detection, but we were aided in our efforts to track Hornea down by the authorities at the Romanian Embassy in the UK and in Romania.”
Hornea is due to be sentenced in a few weeks, according to The Mirror.
While this attack is a particularly unnerving one, Hamm is keen to stress that it does not happen often and there are steps that can be taken to protect ourselves. “Incidents like this are incredibly rare however, people should be vigilant when answering the door, especially if they aren’t expecting a delivery. Use a chain on the door if possible, or talk to that person through the window if you aren’t sure. A genuine delivery driver won’t mind if you ask for ID.”