New BBC documentary will focus on work of murder detectives across three investigations

Murder 24/7 will start on February 24 Picture: EXPECTATION FACTUAL/JON ATTENBOROUGH

Murder 24/7 will start on February 24 Picture: EXPECTATION FACTUAL/JON ATTENBOROUGH - Credit: BBC/Expectation Factual/Jon Attenborough

Documentary makers were allowed unprecedented access with murder detectives for the first time to film a brand new BBC Two series.

Deputy Senior Investigating Officer DI Michelle Stoten Picture: EXPECTATION FACTUAL/JON ATTENBOROUGH

Deputy Senior Investigating Officer DI Michelle Stoten Picture: EXPECTATION FACTUAL/JON ATTENBOROUGH - Credit: BBC/Expectation Factual/Jon Attenborough

Murder 24/7, which starts on Monday, February 24, follows three Essex murder investigations in 2019 from the moment the crime happened right through to its conclusion at court.

The programme highlights the work of Essex Police's major crime team detectives and shows how different officers from across the force - such as manhunt specialists, forensic teams and phone and intelligence analysts - work together to solve a murder case.

A team of filmmakers from production company Expectation Factual were given unprecedented access with detectives for the series, which is the first time Essex Police has opened its doors to the public.

Chief Constable BJ Harrington said: "We know our detectives here in Essex are amongst the finest in the world and that's why we took the opportunity to showcase just some of their work through this BBC documentary.

OSG Team Leader PS Simon Gray Picture: EXPECTATION FACTUAL/JON ATTENBOROUGH

OSG Team Leader PS Simon Gray Picture: EXPECTATION FACTUAL/JON ATTENBOROUGH - Credit: BBC/Expectation Factual/Jon Attenborough


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"When a murder happens, which is thankfully not very often, our detectives work around the clock, often at great personal sacrifice, to follow up every lead, support devastated families and hunt those responsible.

"But what this programme really captures is, that while our detectives will lead the investigation and the hunt for suspects, it really is a force-wide effort to support victims, solve crime, hunt offenders and bring them to justice.

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"Murder 24/7 really shows that when these terrible crimes happen our whole force comes together to catch a killer."

Across five episodes the programme will follow detectives investigating the fatal stabbing of 49-year-old Carl Hopkins and the attempted murder of his friend in Colchester on February 10, 2019; the murder of 36-year-old Courtney Valentine-Brown who was stabbed to death in Southend on February 21, 2019; and the manslaughter of June Knight who was thrown from her care home in balcony in Southend on December 10, 2018.

Crime Scene Investigator Laura Matthews Picture: EXPECTATION FACTUAL/JON ATTENBOROUGH

Crime Scene Investigator Laura Matthews Picture: EXPECTATION FACTUAL/JON ATTENBOROUGH - Credit: BBC/Expectation Factual/Jon Attenborough

MORE: Teenager cleared of Colchester town centre murderDet Supt Morgan Cronin, Essex Police's head of major, economic and cyber crime, said: "At the heart of every murder or manslaughter is a victim who has lost their life and a devastated family left behind.

"We hope that this programme shows the residents of our county that when the very worst happens we work determinedly to piece together what happened, catch those responsible and ensure they face justice.

"Murder 24/7 captures in real time, the dedication and commitment of all of our officers as well as the complexity of an investigation and the painstaking work that goes into gathering evidence - from trawling CCTV to intricate forensic work and mobile phone analysis - which is often frustrated by those seeking to avoid capture and justice.

"We hope this programme gives the public and the residents of Essex a greater understanding of the challenges of these investigations but also reassures them of the professionalism, determination and commitment of our officers."

Forensic Dog Handler PS Ben Savory Picture: EXPECTATION FACTUAL/JON ATTENBOROUGH

Forensic Dog Handler PS Ben Savory Picture: EXPECTATION FACTUAL/JON ATTENBOROUGH - Credit: BBC/Expectation Factual/Jon Attenborough

Ruth Kelly, executive producer at Expectation Factual said: "We wanted to produce a police documentary series with a unique approach, rooted in what really happens when someone is murdered.

"The result is Murder 24/7, made possible by the privileged access Essex Police gave us to their major crime teams.

"We hope that the series shines a light on the extraordinary team of detectives, forensic investigators and specialists who come together, working round the clock, to solve murder cases."

Murder 24/7: Essex will air at 9pm on BBC Two on Monday, February 24, Tuesday, February 25, Wednesday, February 26, Monday, March 2 and Tuesday, March 3.

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