In a first for Suffolk’s Constabulary, one of its most proactive crime-fighting teams is to be the focus of a new 10-part television series.
Entitled “Fast Justice”, it will feature the force’s Sentinel teams and be aired on the award-winning entertainment channel Dave, in April.
Based across the county, the Sentinels are dedicated to cracking down on organised crime, protecting Suffolk’s communities and tackling cross-border crime.
Officers have made more than 733 arrests, since the first team was set up in late May 2019 (up to March 11, 2021) after Operation Sentinel was funded by that year’s rise in the council tax precept.
Given exclusive access, ITN Productions spent three months embedded with officers during the latter part of last year after securing the production company’s first commission with UKTV to make the programme.
The observational documentary series will feature 10 one-hour episodes as the crew follow officers while they combat crime across the county.
The Sentinel teams use state of the art Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology which provides instant access to a network of cameras across the country, and they drive high performance, customised BMWs.
Officers are tasked with tracking down serious criminals and getting them off the streets. Following real stories as they happen, the series features issues including, drug trafficking, human trafficking, violent, serious and complex crimes. It also highlights the challenges and criminal trends the police in Suffolk face on a day-to-day basis.
The Sentinel teams provide enhanced coverage of Suffolk’s road network to proactively disrupt serious and organised criminal activity as well as to increase police visibility.
Sentinel officers also support the force’s response policing and Safer Neighbourhood Teams, and offer additional operational options, making use of a wide range of proactive policing tactics and technology.
Suffolk Constabulary’s Head of Crime, Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Bridger, said: “Over the past two years the Sentinel teams have been an outstanding success, making hundreds of arrests while protecting the communities they serve.
“I am delighted we have been able to showcase their impact on tackling organised crime, as well as helping to keep the people of Suffolk safe on a daily basis.
“For us this is a ground-breaking documentary series which demonstrates not only the hard work and commitment of the Sentinel teams, but also the dedication and professionalism of officers and staff throughout the constabulary.”
Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “It’s a real feather in the cap of the constabulary that the television production team chose to highlight the great work being carried out by the Sentinel teams in Suffolk. Suffolk is a small force, I’m very proud to see it represented in this positive way.
“The Sentinel teams were funded by Suffolk residents through the council tax precept and as the arrests show, the investment really is paying dividends. This proactive policing approach is exactly what the people of Suffolk asked for, and I am sure it will make interesting watching for television viewers right across the country.”
Will Smith, Executive Producer at ITN Productions. said: “’Fast Justice’ is an up-close, unfiltered, exciting contemporary police series. We’re with the Sentinels every step of the way as they target, hunt down and arrest some of the UK’s most wanted criminals. With fixed-rigs in their high-speed pursuit cars and filming at their intelligence hub, viewers will get a front-row seat as the drama unfolds.”