April 22, 2022 6.00 pm

Inside The Force: 24/7 – ‘worst incident ever’ as suspect has dirty protest in custody

60% of incidents in Lincolnshire are mental health related

The next episode of Channel 5’s Inside The Force: 24/7 focuses on a series of challenging mental health related incidents responded to by Lincolnshire Police.

Episode four of the eight-part series, produced by Mentorn Media, will air on Channel 5 at 9pm on Monday, April 25.

The episode includes a call which comes in from A&E where a nurse is being attacked by a drunk man. PC Amy Burnett races to attend but, as she arrives, the man again lashes out at the nurse who decides he wants the man to be arrested.

Back at custody, as the drunk man is being booked in, he faints and fits on the floor. Paramedics are called in and the man is rushed back to hospital.

Meanwhile, Sergeant Nicky Duke is on shift when a man is brought in to custody for criminal damage, but he threatens to self-harm and refuses to wear a safety suit.

He then threatens to flood his cell and twice carries out a dirty protest. Officers are called in to help to clean the cell in what Sergeant Duke calls one of the worst incidents of its kind she has ever witnessed.

Sergeant Nicky Duke from Lincolnshire Police. | Photo: Mentorn Media/Channel 5

PC Simon Berger also deals with a series of challenging and vulnerable suspects with mental health conditions. This is an increasingly common occurrence with 60% of the Lincolnshire force’s incidents being mental health related.

PC Berger’s first call is to a disturbed man who is shouting at passers-by and kicking doors and windows in town. However, when police try to detain him he resists, and it takes four officers to remove him from the train station and get him into a police van.

The man is known to the police and has a history of mental health issues. Back at custody as they attempt to change his clothes over for his own safety, the man becomes aggressive and pava spray is used. In the tussle, PC Berger is also sprayed and he has to go outside, struggling to breathe and see.

When a call comes in about a man attacking a bouncer in town, an off-duty officer steps in to help. However, he then needs urgent assistance and PC Berger is dispatched.

As he arrives it is clear the suspect has mental health issues and has self-harm scars on his arm.

As the police attempt to arrest him, he resists and assaults PC Berger who further arrests him for assault on an emergency worker.

After the incident, PC Berger reflects on the frequent assaults he has suffered doing his job, including being bitten, punched in the face with his own handcuffs, kicked and spat on.

In custody, the suspect reveals he hears voices and wants to die. For his own protection the man needs to wear a safety suit so he can’t harm himself in custody but when he refuses officers have to be called in.

Out in response, Sergeant Rosie Elkins, who is single crewed, arrests an aggressive man who has assaulted a woman. When she accidentally gets sprayed with tear gas whilst restraining the man, she faces an agonising wait for back up to arrive.

This follows on from episode one, which focused on the investigation into the death of Darren Munnelly.

Declan Grant sobbing after being told the attack on Darren Munnelly was fatal. | Screenshot: Mentorn Media/Channel 5

Episode two showed the pressure police faced with a spike in incidents as England played Germany in the European Championships last summer.

Episode three focused on response officers and CID dealing with a series domestic incidents, including a man shown on CCTV ‘punching the victim to the ground and then kicking her in the head’. The Crown Prosecution Service recently admitted it got it wrong over the brutal assault shown in the episode.

The eight-part series goes behind the doors at Lincolnshire Police and shows what life is really like for the officers and staff at the police station on South Park in Lincoln.

Filming took place as the lockdown restrictions eased in summer 2021 and crime rates surged so Lincolnshire Police, the ‘country’s least funded force’, was stretched like never before.