The strain on funding and resources at Lincolnshire Police came to the fore multiple times during the second series of Channel 5’s Inside The Force: 24/7, but what else did we learn from the show?
The eight-part series produced by Mentorn Media on Channel 5 was filmed as the lockdown restrictions eased in summer 2021, and the final episode aired on Monday, May 23.
One factor shown on numerous occasions was officers having to attend incidents single-crewed on their own. Although two police sergeants we spoke to were both unphased by this, the show highlighted the tough the situations officers at Lincolnshire Police have to deal with.
In episode four, there was an incident in which Sergeant Rosy Elkins was single-crewed and arrested an aggressive man over an assault on a woman. She kept the man there as safely as she could until back up arrived and it highlighted just how well the officers cope under the pressures and strain on resources.
When recalling the incident to The Lincolnite, Sergeant Elkins described it as “one of the strangest incidents I’ve dealt with in my career”.
The incident also included Rosy accidentally getting sprayed with PAVA spray while restraining the man in the back of the car. This was one of numerous incidents throughout the series in which officers got sprayed by mistake and Sergeant Elkins admitted “it is particularly painful but it is a fantastic piece of kit that we wouldn’t want to be without”.
And it’s not just Lincolnshire Police who featured in the show as the Lincoln public do too, and some people really don’t know when to quit, including one man who was told he could go, but continued to ‘mouth off’ and ended up getting arrested. People also debated on social media how much force was reasonable.
This was especially apparent in incidents on Friday and Saturday nights which often appeared to be alcohol-fuelled. This puts police officers under more pressure as they are arresting people after incidents such as fights in town instead of being able to deal with other situations elsewhere.
Although this puts more of a strain on resources on what is said to be the worst funded police force in the country, Sergeant Dan Cooper said he enjoys Friday and Saturday nights in the city centre as it is a “different style of policing”.
One man who refused to leave the scene of a fight outside The Engine Shed, which was shown in episode five, was chased and bitten by a police dog. The incident sparked numerous debates about how police use aggressive dogs.
The first episode focused on the death of Darren Munnelly, which saw Declan Grant jailed for six-and-a-half-years after admitting a lesser charge of manslaughter. This caused further discussion on social media as the episode included 999 calls to Lincolnshire Police, revealing Grant’s partner had warned call operators he was drunk and likely to hurt someone.
During the series one suspect tried to make reference to the Magna Carta and knowing his rights, with those being arrested or taken into custody have been known to say strange things.
Sergeant Cooper told The Lincolnite: “I had a burglar once that I caught in the house wearing the lady’s socks on his hands, because he didn’t take any gloves.
“As I opened the door, and I said ‘what the hell are you doing?’. He said ‘how did I get here?’. [I said] ‘you’re going to have to come up with something better than that mate, you’re under arrest’.”
Sergeant Elkins added: “I had a drink driver the other night who tried to tell me that, even though we’d tracked his car on CCTV, because he was in a private car park we definitely couldn’t arrest him because he’d done no wrong. He was very upset when we then took him into custody.”
Inside The Force: 24/7 also appeared to play on the stereotypes relating to police and food. Although this normally relates to donuts, on Inside The Force the camera panned in on pizzas in several episodes.
A more quirky observation surrounded whether a lot of Lincoln residents have watched the film The Ring, due to so many people being blurred.
The way Lincoln was mapped differently on television was also picked up on as officers were edited driving down streets miles away from each other in two consecutive shoots.
Series 2 episodes recap
- Episode one focused on the investigation into the death of Darren Munnelly, which saw Declan Grant jailed for six-and-a-half years. Grant’s partner’s warning on the night he punched Munnelly to death was played in an episode, which gave a chilling insight into his time in custody.
- 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 of 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.
- Episode four focused on a series of challenging mental health related incidents responded to by Lincolnshire Police.
- Episode five shows the pressure on police as for the first time in nearly two years custody runs out of cells. Incidents included a man who refused to leave the scene of a fight outside The Engine Shed before he was chased and bitten by a police dog, leading to debates on social media.
- Episode six includes an incident of a mother who has previously falsely accused her son of stealing money, who alleges he has set fire to her house and stolen thousands of pounds from her wardrobe.
- Episode seven includes fights on CCTV and officer arguments over cell space in custody. It also looks at an incident from last summer where a vandal destroyed one of the Lincoln Imp Trail sculptures.
- Episode eight focused on a surge in mental health and drink related incidents, including a topless man causing difficulty for police.