999: What’s Your Emergency

999 What's Your Emergency

A brand-new season of 999: What’s Your Emergency? returns to the front line and examines the role that the police play in testing times. This episode, filmed with South Yorkshire Police, reveals what happens under cover of darkness with police on the beat and as a 12-hour nightshift begins for call handlers. In Doncaster town centre, aka ‘the wild west’ according to PCs Ben Gill and Jamie Hills, there’s already a call to help restrain an aggressive drunk who is assaulting a colleague on foot: it takes three of them to restrain him. ‘There’s definitely a culture in Britain of going out and just getting absolutely spangled,’ says Ben. Jamie adds ‘there’s nothing more sobering than a load of policemen tackling you and then dragging you into the back of a van.’ In nearby Sheffield, PCs Bernice Gott and Rachel Brightmore are monitoring pub and club-goers from a public order van, and they don’t have to wait long before being called to help a badly injured victim of a fight that’s in progress. As the night wears on, there’s a change in rhythm to calls coming into the emergency control room. ‘It tends to be people going out to commit crime rather than people happening to commit crime on a whim,’ says call handler Josh Wright. On the edge of Rotherham at around 1am, PCs Rachel Sharratt and Lauren Henderson encounter one such person: Colin, aka ‘Diesel Dick’, a serial offender who is known for habitually stealing diesel. But when he’s taken into custody, he’s so keen to stop his offending ways that he actually asks police to put him on a tag. Every year, South Yorkshire Police deal with 27,000 mental health related calls, half of which occur during the night shift. Tonight is no exception, as PCs Brad Phillips and Mike Doggett rush to the aid of a night staff carer at sheltered accommodation in Sheffield, whose safety is dramatically put at risk by a resident suffering from paranoia. And outside Doncaster, as they near the end of their shift, PCs Keeley Lees and Danni Devey are suddenly alerted to the predicament of a distressed lone man, parked on a bridge. ‘We get a lot of calls in Doncaster from people on bridges’ says Danni ‘one of the first places people go to if they’re feeling they’re in a crisis.’ Immediately the two women begin to attempt a parley with the man, but he refuses to engage with them. ‘I’m trying to speak to him, keep him as calm as I possibly can… if I say the wrong thing, is that going to be a trigger to make him want to go over?

999: What’s Your Emergency – Monday 9pm on Channel 4

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