BBC Two, 2015


In July 2012, Greater Manchester Police set up a specialist unit to investigate sex offences. The first of its kind for the force, 60 detectives were trained as specialist rape investigators. In the years since, reports of rape across the UK have soared.

Filmed over two years, this three-part series reveals the complexities and challenges of Police investigations into sex crimes, where the odds of successful conviction are as low as 1 in 10.

This ambitious series features one high-profile historic sexual abuse case that runs through all three films, starting with the investigation in episode one, the arrest and interrogation in episode two, and the trial in episode three. Operation Canute is an investigation into a friend of Jimmy Saville, Manchester DJ Ray Teret, accused of a string of sex offences against schoolgirls in the 60s and 70s. Led by unflappable DS Carol Barlow, one of the force’s most experienced detectives, and DC Rod Carter, whose background is in gang crime, we go behind the headlines to see what it takes to bring offenders to justice when the crimes were committed more than 30 years ago.

Each film in the series also features a number of present day rape enquiries including an online grooming case, a violent stranger rape and an attack on a student outside a nightclub.

There are so many documentaries about the police, but I would single out this one for your attention

The Independent

The level of access makes for essential viewing

The Guardian

These are horrifying crimes, but the whole is elevated to art by the camerawork and spine-tingling

The Independent

James Newton


Colin Barr
Ruth Kelly


Emma Whitehead


Harriet Bird


Rupert Houseman


Nancy Nigro


Richard Spiller