Press Centre

Ross Kemp and The Armed Police

  • Episode: 

    1 of

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Thu 06 Sep 2018
  • TX Confirmed: 

  • Time: 

    9.00pm - 10.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 36 2018 : Sat 01 Sep - Fri 07 Sep
  • Channel: 

  • Status: 

The information contained herein is embargoed from all Press, online, social media, non-commercial publication or syndication - in the public domain - until Tuesday 28th August 2018.
Ross Kemp and The Armed Police
“Police aren't in control. They've got no control out there… I don't think they've got enough ability to enforce stuff, but that's good for us.” - Anonymous gun smuggler, speaking to Ross Kemp
This one-off documentary which kicks off ITV’s 2018 Crime & Punishment season fronted by Ross Kemp goes inside police tactical firearms teams to investigate how gun crime in Britain has exploded, increasing by by 20% since 2017 - and how the force are dealing with it. 
Ross sees the danger of their work up close as he dons his bulletproof vest to ride out on armed police raids uncovering guns in suburbia and gets immersed in their high octane training drills which replicate real life scenarios.  He engages with the other side of the law - in a shocking encounter with a gun smuggler as well as a frank discussion with young gang members who tell him the reality of the influx of guns into their country and their reasons for carrying firearms on the streets. 
With access to West Midlands Police, covering Birmingham, which has more firearms incidents per head than anywhere else in the UK, this documentary features Ross speaking to officers about the specialist training they undertake to keep the streets safe. 
He also embeds himself within their units at their specialist HQ to find out how they prepare to tackle some of the most dangerous criminals in society and discovers the new tactics they have started to employ since the terror attacks in London and Manchester in 2017. 
In the show, he follows police into a property in the Midlands where two guns are uncovered. Ross expresses surprise at the setting of the house, among suburban streets. He says: “There is a sad irony for me, that I am standing outside a suburban house in Birmingham, wearing the same kit I wore in Iraq and Syria… Police have just found a sawn-off shotgun and a pistol in the garden of the house behind me. And this is happening on a regular basis.”
Chief Inspector Danny Delaney, who runs the firearms unit, says times have changed since he became a police officer: “From 1991 to now, it's a different world. If I took one of the more experienced officers from then and brought them down here now, they wouldn't be able to believe what they've seen. It's totally and utterly changed.”
Chf Insp Delaney tells Ross that much of the gun trade is linked to drug dealers. He says: “They go hand and hand. I think most armed criminality is do with drugs, or the supply of drugs. There's usually an overlap. When you find firearms, you'll find drugs… teenage kids get sucked into gangs and my big fear is the younger they are they don’t have the appreciation of what they are getting themselves into. “
Ross visits the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NaBIS), where all firearms seized by police are sent for analysis so they can both match guns and bullets to crime scenes. The service’s cache includes seized Baikal pistols and even MAC-10 machine guns. Martin Parker, the service’s lead forensic scientist, shows Ross how they identify guns from marks left inside their barrels when they fire bullets, by firing them into a water tank. He says: “When you fire into water, it is not like Saving Private Ryan where you saw people getting shot underwater. The bullet slows down really quickly in water and most importantly for us it leaves them undamaged. So this is the quickest way for us to recover intact bullets, so we can look at them.”
Ross steps into the shady world of the arms trade when he meets a gun smuggler, who tells him the police seemingly powerless to stop him bringing weapons into the country for distribution. He also says that now he’s in the dangerous business of selling firearms, it would be very difficult for him to walk away from, as that could put him at risk. 
He says: “Like anything once you're in an organisation like this breaking away, you've got to give a very good reason to break away.”
Ross also goes on patrol with firearms officers James and Dan to find out what their regular shifts are like. They tell him about how their approach to the job was different before they became armed response officers. Dan says: “There were times certainly when I thought I wish I had a little bit more protection, whether that was a pistol or a ballistic helmet. Something would have been far more beneficial than just going in with a Taser and a plastic hat.”
Through a contact, the programme tracks down members of a Birmingham-based gang, who meet Ross on condition of anonymity to speak about their experiences with guns. One of the gang tells him how it felt to hold a gun for the first time. He says: “I went up to a hill the first time I got one just to feel the power and extension of it and I thought, ‘Yeah, that’s like thunder, that is…’ Once you have got that in your hand you just want to have it on you every day.” 
Ross also visits Newham in East London to meet Keisha McLeod, whose 14-year-old son CJ was shot and killed in a children’s playground nearby. She says CJ told her he had been forced to sell drugs after falling in with the wrong crowd, despite her efforts to steer him away. She says: “I told him to look into my eyes and if there is a moment to trust me it is at this moment right now… My baby came to me cause he was scared ‘cause he didn’t know what he was doing.”
She describes seeing him in hospital after he had been shot. She says:
“I remember going to him and feeling him, he was warm. I remember looking at him like he is my baby. I kissed him on the lips and put a little Vaseline on his lips cause he hates dry lips. I just tried to make him look like I was used to.”