Murder 24/7: Forensic experts from Coventry-based company to feature in new BBC Two documentary

Coventry-based Key Forensic Services will feature in a gripping new documentary series that starts on BBC Two on Monday night (February 24).

Murder 24/7 will show forensic experts from Key Forensic Services as they help Essex Police’s Major Crime team investigate three murder cases, right from the moment the crimes occurred through to arrest and conclusion in court.

The hard-hitting show takes viewers behind the scenes to the heart of a police investigation, showing an unprecedented level of detail as various teams of experts, including those from Key Forensic Services, combine to work together to solve the crime.

Detectives, senior investigating officers, manhunt specialists, blood spatter analysts, dog handlers, interviewing officers, crime scene managers, phone analysts and lawyers are just some of the specialists featured as Murder 24/7 follows each case in real time, spanning five episodes across two weeks.

Key Forensic Services scientists are involved from the outset at the crime scene, as no stone is left unturned to catch the killer.

During the series, they are seen attending crime scenes, helping detectives piece together the clues in each case to help lead them to the suspects, and are filmed in full personal protective equipment (PPE) as they undertake crucial work.

“This documentary illustrates the huge value that forensic experts contribute to the criminal justice system,” said Nigel Withey, CEO of Key Forensic Services, who are based at the University of Warwick Science Park and also have offices in Norwich, Warrington and Bristol.

“Piecing together the complex jigsaw of evidence demands the very highest level of collaboration and trust across multiple agencies, and we are very proud and privileged to have the opportunity of working with our world-class policing colleagues at Essex.”

Key Forensic Services account manager Craig Bennett added: “Murder 24/7 provides a valuable insight into the considerable professionalism, effort and teamwork associated with major investigations.”

Murder 24/7 is the first time Essex Police has opened its doors to the public, allowing unprecedented access to filmmakers from production company Expectation Factual.

Chief Constable BJ Harrington said: “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.“Murder 24/7 really shows that when these terrible crimes happen, our whole force comes together to catch a killer.”

Det Supt Morgan Cronin, Essex Police’s Head of Major, Economic and Cyber Crime, said: “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.”

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.

“We hope 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.”

The programme will follow detectives as they investigate three separate murders which happened in 2018 and 2019, including the fatal stabbing of 49-year-old Carl Hopkins and the attempted murder of his friend in Colchester, which took place on February 10, 2019; the murder of 36-year-old Courtney Valentine-Brown, who was stabbed to death in Southend-on-Sea on February 21, 2019; and the killing of June Knight, who was thrown from her care home balcony in Southend on December 10, 2018.

The five hour-long episodes of Murder 24/7 will air on BBC Two at 9pm on Monday, February 24; Tuesday, February 25, Wednesday, February 26; Monday, March 2; and Tuesday, March 3. The series will also feature on BBC iPlayer.