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PREVIEW: Britain's Kidnap Gangs, BBC Three

Investigative journalist Livvy Haydock investigates the alarming rise in kidnapping across the UK.

According to statistics obtained from the Home Office, there were 5,775 kidnappings in England alone in 2020.

Until recently, kidnapping was almost exclusively a gang-on-gang crime, mainly involving turf wars between drug dealers or other organised criminals. As part of her investigation Livvy tracks down a professional kidnapper who freely admits that he is hired to kidnap and torture other criminals in order to extract ransoms, or to discover the whereabouts of drug stashes.

However, as Livvy’s investigation deepens, she discovers that a new generation of younger criminals are now using kidnapping as a weapon against members of the public who are not drug dealers or members of other organised crime groups.

Throughout the film, Livvy speaks to kidnap victims and hears their harrowing accounts of what they endured at the hands of their abductors.

Livvy is also granted a unique interview with David Jones, the Head of the National Crime Agency’s Anti-Kidnap Unit. He reveals that kidnapping in the UK is a serious issue. He backs up Livvy’s investigation and tells her that one in five kidnap victims are not members of drug gangs.

However, he assures Livvy that the Police are working undercover to do everything in their power to stamp out this crime. Available on BBC iPlayer from 6am on Tuesday 17 August


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