May 4, 2022 12.16 pm

Twitter reacts to Inside the force: 24/7 – ‘Why would you take on a police dog?’

The Channel 5 show continues to throw up talking points

A man refused to leave the scene of a fight outside The Engine Shed before he was chased and bitten by a police dog in the most recent episode of Channel 5’s Inside The Force: 24/7.

The incident sparked numerous debates about how police use aggressive dogs.

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

A few hours into the night shift shown on episode five on May 2, Lincolnshire Police’s Force Control Room already dealing with over 500 incidents, including the fight.

Two officers tried to restrain a man on the ground before they were surrounded by a group of around 40 people, who intimidated them until back up attended to help disperse the crowd.

However, not all would leave and one man was chased by a police dog and bitten – to the shock of a few.

Many were supportive of the action taken.

Some felt the behaviour of the man arrested did not warrant the pursuit by the dog.

There was a lot of sympathy for the officers when crowds swarmed them. Two were injured in the scrum.

Others pondered who those featured in the programme were representing their city.

The city’s force was even put to the Gogglebox jury recently.

The latest episode also saw four of the 22 cells out of order and custody reached full capacity. It means for the first time in nearly two years, custody runs out of cells.

The busy weekend also saw police dealing with the tragic murder of Darren Munnelly, which was featured in the first episode of the new series.

When Lincoln-based PC Craig Wray was asked how often nights like that happen, he told BBC Radio Lincolnshire: “They don’t happen every week. Certainly on some weekend we can near full capacity, especially as the weather gets better, people start their all day drinking. But you look at the likes of Bank Holidays and things, there always going to be a flashpoint for that sort of stuff.

“I think what it didn’t show on that episode the other night was that actually that was the same night we had that murder as well so it was a very very busy night and there was a lot going on, but they are rare thankfully.”

The episode also once again highlighted the strain being put Lincolnshire Police whose resources have, at times, been stretched to the limit. PC Wray was asked by BBC Radio Lincolnshire if it was fair to see that at points they didn’t have enough people to respond to some of the things that are going.

He responded by saying: “Yes absolutely, it’s no lie that we feel underfunded as a force, (from) the opinion of someone who is on the front line there isn’t enough of us, that’s why we’re trying to police more cleverly.

“Why are we going to the same people 10 times a month if we can actually get to the route cause of that problem and prevent us from having to attend in the first place and save everyone a lot of work. We’ve got to police smarter but we still need more of us, it’s as simple as that.”

The father-of-three added that giving up days off happens “relatively regularly” and “happens more often than perhaps we’d like to but it’s part of the nature of what we do”.