Filmed, produced and directed by an all-female team and with unprecedented access to officers at all levels within the force, the series will follow cases from the initial reports right through the criminal justice process.
Rape: Behind the Headlines (w/t) will feature powerful testimony and actuality with victims, whose experience and point of view will be central to each episode. As well as the work of officers in local investigation teams, the national initiative, led by Avon and Somerset Deputy Chief Constable Sarah Crew – the National Police Chiefs Council Lead for Rape and Serious Sexual Offences – will also be a key pillar of the series.
Going behind the headlines, the series will seek to challenge many of the myths and stereotypes associated with these crimes – and ask what can and needs to be done to change and improve the system.
Fozia Khan ,Documentaries commissioning editor at Channel 4, said: “Hardcash productions have secured unprecedented access to Avon and Somerset police to dig deep and explore the reasons behind the shockingly low conviction rates for rape in the UK. The team have been embedded with the force at all levels for a year and filmed a wide variety of cases to shed light on the challenges faced by the police force and victims in securing convictions.”
Joanna Potts, executive producer, added: “This is a vitally important and topical issue. This is a series that will challenge the viewer's preconceptions about rape and police procedure. Thanks to the officers of Avon and Somerset Police - and the incredibly brave women who have spoken to us. We have been granted extraordinary access at every stage of these investigations - and it will make gripping television.”