Crimewatch (formerly Crimewatch UK) is a British television programme produced by the BBC, that reconstructs major unsolved crimes in order to gain information from the public which may assist in solving the case. The programme was originally broadcast once a month on BBC One, although in more recent years it was usually broadcast roughly once every two months.
Crimewatch was first broadcast on 7 June 1984, and is based on the German TV show Aktenzeichen XY … ungelöst (which translates as File Reference XY … Unsolved). Nick Ross and Sue Cook presented the show for the first 11 years, until Cook's departure in June 1995. Cook was replaced by Jill Dando. After Dando was murdered in April 1999, Ross hosted Crimewatch alone until January 2000 when Fiona Bruce subsequently joined the show.
Kirsty Young and Matthew Amroliwala replaced Ross and Bruce following their departures in 2007. It was announced on 15 October 2008 that the BBC would move the production of shows such as Crimewatch to studios in Cardiff. Young and Amroliwala remained as the lead presenters until 2015. Following a brief period with guest presenter Sophie Raworth in 2016, it was announced that the show would relaunch in September 2016 with a new weekly format. The new presenters were announced as Jeremy Vine and Tina Daheley. The new series began on 5 September 2016, with the final episode airing on 20 March 2017.
In October 2017, the BBC announced that the main Crimewatch series had been retired, citing declining viewership. Its daytime spin-off series Crimewatch Roadshow will continue to air, but will also air more episodes per-year.
|Also known as||Crimewatch UK|
|Based on||Aktenzeichen XY … ungelöst|
|Presented by||Nick Ross
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||33|
|No. of episodes||(list of episodes)|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Original network||BBC One|
|Picture format||576i (16:9 SDTV)|
|Original release||7 June 1984 – 20 March 2017|
|Followed by||Crimewatch Update|
|Related shows||Crimewatch Roadshow
Crimewatch Hot Property
The idea for the show came from the UK programme Police Five and the German Aktenzeichen XY … ungelöst (File Reference XY … Unsolved). Producers viewed the shows and rejected the overt reconstructions with music to build suspense in America's Most Wanted, and were also against the idea of filming the reconstruction from the perspective of the offender as in Aktenzeichen XY … ungelöst (particularly for sexual assaults). However, they favoured the idea of audience participation in the show. Originally, Crimewatch UK (as it was then known) was due to run for only three programmes. It was regarded as an experiment when it was first shown, partly because of doubts about whether the police would take part, witnesses and victims would welcome the idea, could it actually lead to arrests, and could it be considered in prejudicing a jury. In over 25 years, 57 murderers, 53 rapists and sex offenders, 18 paedophiles, and others were captured as a direct result of Crimewatch appeals.
Crimewatch used to be shown once a month on BBC One usually at 9pm, with a Crimewatch Update at 10.35 (following the BBC News at Ten). Since March 2011 the show aired less frequently, roughly once every two months. It featured approximately three or four cases per show, with each case featuring reconstructions of the crime. It was one of the largest live factual studio productions. The films shown often feature interviews with senior detectives and/or relatives or friends of victims. Key evidence is usually shown, such as E-FIT profiles of suspects and details of certain lines of enquiry.
Other features to the show included a "CCTV section", which showed crimes caught on CCTV with enhanced imagery of suspects. A "Wanted Faces" section was also featured: eight close-up pictures of suspects police are trying to trace are shown on screen. This section also frequently involves information about suspects, including aliases. These eight photos are shown upon the programme's closing credits, one of the few programmes in which the BBC do not 'show the credits in reduced size'.
Viewers could contact Crimewatch by phoning 08085 600 600, with the phone lines remaining open until midnight the night following the programme. Viewers could also send text messages to 63399. Due to the high demand for cases to be shown on the programme, many other cases are added to the Crimewatch website. These are joined by reconstructions, CCTV footage and wanted faces that have been shown on previous programmes. All reconstructions, CCTV footage, faces and cases remain on the Crimewatch website until the criminals are caught or suspects convicted. Crimewatch can be watched on the BBC iPlayer catch-up service for 24 hours from broadcast.
Following the main programme, there was a 10–15 minute follow-up after the BBC News at Ten, with updates on calls and results from the earlier broadcast. This was removed when the show relaunched in September 2016.
From time to time an extra programme called Crimewatch: Solved was transmitted, showing cases that resulted in convictions; sometimes a Crimewatch special is produced which reviews an entire high-profile case, such as the murder of Sarah Payne.
On 21 May 1997, a special programme entitled Crimewatch Hot Property was aired on BBC One, and presented by Jill Dando. The aim was to help people find their stolen property that were recovered in police raids.
From 27 November 2000 to 7 December 2001, a daily version of the show was aired on weekday mornings. Broadcast from a specially designed studio at New Scotland Yard, it was presented by Phil Gayle and Jane Moore.
As of 2009, there has been no monthly show broadcast in June, instead this has been replaced with this accompanying series, which is broadcast for four weeks on weekday mornings from 9.15am – 10.00am. The programme travels to different police forces across the country to help solve everyday crime. To date, seven series of the show have been broadcast. Rav Wilding has been the main presenter of all seven series.
Co-presenters on Crimewatch Roadshow have included Sophie Raworth; Ginny Buckley; Miriam O'Reilly; Dave Guest; Alice Bandhukvari; Nicola Rees; Sian Lloyd; Sonali Shah and Michelle Ackerley. During the fifth series of the show, former Crimewatch presenter Jacqui Hames co-presented every Friday, updating viewers on success stories from years past.
In October 2017, it was announced that Crimewatch Roadshow would now broadcast two series per year.
Several police officers have appeared on the programme from the studio, including David Hatcher, Helen Phelps, Jeremy Paine, Jacqui Hames, Jonathan Morrison, Jane Corrigan, and Rav Wilding. For many years the programme also included antiques experts John Bly, Eric Knowles and Paul Hayes to help with 'treasure trove' details of recovered goods believed to have been stolen.
Despite initial police concerns about involvement (only three forces out of more than 40 agreed to participate initially), Crimewatch developed a special status with police and was credited with an expertise of its own, notably through Nick Ross' long experience with public appeals. Unlike the American equivalent, America's Most Wanted, Crimewatch itself usually appeals for unsolved cases inviting viewers to be armchair detectives. According to the producers, about a third of its cases are solved, half of those as a direct result of viewers' calls. Its successes have included some of Britain's most notorious crimes, including the kidnap of Stephanie Slater and murder of Julie Dart, the M25 rapist, the road-rage killing by Kenneth Noye, and the capture of two boys for the abduction and murder of James Bulger.
Over the years, Crimewatch has featured appeals from all 43 police forces in the country. 1 in 3 appeals leads to an arrest and 1 in 5 lead to a conviction. 4 or 5 requests to air appeals are received from police forces every day.
At its peak, Crimewatch was seen by 14 million viewers per week. However, by 2017, credited to competition from other programs, it had fallen to an average of 3 million.
A study by the Broadcasting Standards Council found that Crimewatch increased the fear of crime in over half of its respondents, and a third said it made them feel "afraid". However, according to John Sears, senior English lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, it provides a beneficial role, performing "a social function by helping to solve crime, and drawing on the collective responsibilities, experiences and knowledge of the viewing audience in order to do so."
|Nick Ross||1984–2007||The main anchor and longest-serving presenter of the series since its inception. His catchphrase, "Don't have nightmares, do sleep well" (which closed out each episode), became a household phrase and was often spoofed in numerous other TV shows. During his time on the show, he had three co-presenters: Sue Cook, Jill Dando and Fiona Bruce. From May 1999 until January 2000, Ross presented the show alone following the murder of Jill Dando. He left the programme in July 2007 to concentrate on other broadcasting projects.|
|Sue Cook||1984–1995||British broadcaster and author, and first co-presenter of the series. Unlike her successors, Cook acted more as a second main anchor, sometimes presenting a larger segment of the programme than Ross. Cook left the series in June 1995 to focus on other broadcasting projects.|
|Jill Dando||1995–1999||British broadcaster and newsreader. Second co-presenter of the series, appointed following Sue Cook's departure. The edition of Crimewatch broadcast on 20 April 1999 would be Dando's last; she was murdered six days later (26 April). Her murder was reconstructed on the May 1999 programme, where an appeal for witnesses was made. Calls made by viewers initially draw the police onto a new line of enquiry, in which they identified suspect Barry George, who was later convicted of the killing – but was acquitted in August 2008. No further appeals for information were ever made on the programme.|
|Fiona Bruce||2000–2007||British broadcaster and newsreader. Third co-presenter of the series, appointed in January 2000 following the murder of Jill Dando the previous year. Bruce co-hosted with Ross until his departure in July 2007, but left the show in December 2007 to host Antiques Roadshow.|
|Kirsty Young||2008–2015||Former newsreader for ITV and Channel Five who became the main anchor of the show in January 2008. Young departed the series in December 2015 after seven years.|
|Matthew Amroliwala||2008–2015||British newsreader who became the show's fourth co-presenter, Amroliwala hosted both the "How they were caught" and "update" segments. He left the show in March 2015 to focus on his other role of international affairs correspondent for BBC News.|
|Martin Bayfield||2012–2016||Former rugby player and policeman turned sports commentator, who took over from Rav Wilding in January 2012 as the presenter of the "Caught on Camera" segment. Bayfield was the only remaining full-time presenter on the show when the BBC chose to reboot the format, and did not return.|
|Jason Mohammad||2015–2016||British rugby commentator and journalist, who initially took over from Amroliwala for two months on a temporary basis, before returning in October 2015 as a full-time presenter. Mohammad did not return to the show when the format was rebooted in September 2016.|
|Jeremy Vine||2016–2017||British newsreader, presenter and journalist who took over as main anchor as part of a new rebooted format in September 2016, which saw the programme travel across the country and broadcast from the scene of one of the main appeals featured in the episode.|
|Tina Daheley||2016–2017||British newsreader and Radio 1 journalist who took over as co-presenter in September 2016, taking over the roles of both Mohammad and Bayfield, presenting the "Caught on Camera", "How they were caught" and "update" segments.|
|Chief Supt. David Hatcher||1984–1999||At the time of his appointment a Chief Inspector, Hatcher presented the "Photocall" section for 15 years. The first and longest-serving police officer to feature on the programme, Hatcher retired from both the force and the programme in October 1999, having reached the rank of Chief Superintendent. During his time on the show, he had two co-presenters: PC Helen Phelps and DS Jacqui Hames.|
|PC Helen Phelps||1984–1990||Co-presenter of the "Photocall" section alongside David Hatcher for six years.|
|DS Jacqui Hames||1990–2005||Succeeded Helen Phelps as co-presenter of the 'Photocall' section alongside David Hatcher. Remained with the show for 16 years, before quitting in 2005. Co-presented the Friday episode of Crimewatch Roadshow in 2013.|
|Rav Wilding||2004–2011||A Detective Constable at the time of joining the show in June 2004 on its 20th anniversary, Wilding host a segment entitled "Caught on Camera", which replaced the previously featured "Photocall" section. Wilding departed the main show in December 2011, but continues to present the Crimewatch Roadshow.|
|Sian Williams||2012 and 2015||Williams acted as main anchor in episodes broadcast in July 2012, May 2015 and October 2015, as Kirsty Young was unavailable.|
|Sonali Shah||2015||Presented four shows in the wake of Amroliwala's departure, before Jason Mohammad was appointed as a main presenter.|
|Sophie Raworth||2016||Took over as temporary main anchor following Kirsty Young's departure. She presented the first three shows of 2016, before the show was taken off-air and rebooted with Jeremy Vine as main anchor.|
|Rav Wilding||2009–present||Presenter of Crimewatch Roadshow for every series.|
|Sophie Raworth||2009||Co-presenter during June 2009.|
|Ginny Buckley||2010||Co-presenter during June 2010.|
|Miriam O'Reilly||2011||Co-presenter of during June 2011.|
|Dave Guest||2012||Co-presenter of during June 2012.|
|Sian Lloyd||2013–2015||Longest-serving co-presenter.|
|Sonali Shah||2015||Co-presenter during final week of Crimewatch Roadshow in June 2015.|
|Michelle Ackerley||2015–present||Co-presenter since June 2015.|
|1||"Episode 1"||Kirsty Young • Matthew Amroliwala • Rav Wilding||27 January 2010|
|Features: An arsonist who killed a girl and her grandmother • The murder of a 50 year old man in Lincolnshire • A lookback at how the team solved the very first ever case featured on the programme.|
|2||"Episode 2"||Kirsty Young • Matthew Amroliwala • Rav Wilding||25 February 2010|
|Features: The latest on the disappearance of Claudia Lawrence • A look at how police solved the case of a murdered man whose body parts were scattered across the country • The search for the kidnappers who stabbed a shopkeeper.|
|3||"Episode 3"||Kirsty Young • Matthew Amroliwala • Rav Wilding||29 March 2010|
|Features: A rapist who attacked his schoolgirl victim as she left school • An international manhunt for the killer of two young women • How police finally arrested a millionaire playboy who thought he'd gotten away with a crime for more than a decade.|
|4||"Episode 4"||Kirsty Young • Matthew Amroliwala • Rav Wilding||28 April 2010|
|Features: How the police caught a woman nicknamed the Black Widow • The search for the robbers who subjected a Cumbrian mother and her child to a brutal ordeal • A sixteen year old murder case that took place in Holyhead.|
|5||"Episode 5"||Kirsty Young • Matthew Amroliwala • Rav Wilding||15 June 2010|
|Features: The hunt for the killer of a pensioner in South Gloucestershire • The investigation into con men getting people to hand over thousands of pounds online • The search for armed robbers who escaped with a horse trainer's money.|
|6||"Episode 6"||Kirsty Young • Matthew Amroliwala • Rav Wilding||5 July 2010|
|Features: The search for a murderer who killed a careworker in North Wales • An appeal for information on a bank robbery committed in Bradford • An update on serial killer Peter Tobin's trial.|
|7||"Crimewatch: Solved"||Kirsty Young • Matthew Amroliwala • Rav Wilding||8 September 2010|
|Features: This episode includes updates on; the murder of Francesca Bimpson in an arson attack at her home in Liverpool • A rapist terrorising young women in Exeter • An armed robbery committed in Rayleigh.|
|1||"Episode 1"||Sophie Raworth • Martin Bayfield • Jason Mohammad||8 February 2016|
|Featured cases: The unsolved murder of David Brickwood in Abington, Northampton • The shooting and subsequent murder of Marvin Couson in Shoreditch, London in May 2002 • Unidentified remains of a busker found in a back garden in Galway, Ireland • The story of the Hatton Garden safe deposit burglary and the search for the unidentified perpetrator only known as 'Basil'.|
|2||"Episode 2"||Sophie Raworth • Martin Bayfield • Jason Mohammad||10 March 2016|
|Featured cases: The unsolved murder of John Palmer in Essex on 24 June 2015 • The rape of a woman in Derby on 7 September 2015 • A series of attacks on women in Lewisham in December 2015 and January 2016 • The search for rioters after a large scale disturbance in London on 31 October 2015.|
|1||"Roadshow: Episode 1"||Rav Wilding • Michelle Ackerley||6 June 2016|
|Featured cases: A violent house robbery in Feltham • The twelve-year investigation into the Wimbledon Prowler, Britain's most prolific cat-burglar • A brutal Boxing Day attack in Farnham in December 2015 • The ongoing attempts to stop online romance fraudsters.|
|2||"Roadshow: Episode 2"||Rav Wilding • Michelle Ackerley||7 June 2016|
|Featured cases: The mugging and assault of a vulnerable man in Thurrock • An attempted house burglary by a gang in Borehamwood • An armed robbery involving the stabbing of an employee at a supermarket in Penge • The murder and disappearance of a husband and wife from their home in Weybread.|
|3||"Roadshow: Episode 3"||Rav Wilding • Michelle Ackerley||8 June 2016|
|Featured cases: The unsolved murder of Melanie Hall in Bath in 1996 • The brutal assault of a young girl in Chatham • The theft of valuable birds from an avery in Sittingbourne.|
|4||"Roadshow: Episode 4"||Rav Wilding • Michelle Ackerley||9 June 2016|
|Featured cases: A distraction robbery involving a vulnerable pensioner in Hitchin • A violent street robbery of a disabled pensioner in Folkestone • An aggravated burglary in Stevenage in which the occupiers were tied up and threatened with a shotgun • The theft of donations from a museum in Brentford.|
|5||"Roadshow: Episode 5"||Rav Wilding • Michelle Ackerley||10 June 2016|
|Featured cases: A hit and run in Hackney on Christmas Day 2015 which left the victim brain damaged • The investigation into a pair of thieves using mopeds to commit assaults in North London • A serial attacker who has been responsible for a number of sexual assaults on young women in Blackheath.|
|6||"Roadshow: Episode 6"||Rav Wilding • Michelle Ackerley||13 June 2016|
|Featured cases: An armed robbery at the home of a former landlady in Warrington • The unsolved murder of a victim found buried in woodland in North Wales • The unsolved murder of Liam Hill in Rhyl • The theft of a Marines veteran's souvenir watch during an assault in Failsworth.|
|7||"Roadshow: Episode 7"||Rav Wilding • Michelle Ackerley||14 June 2016|
|Featured cases: A brutal assault on a man and his pregnant wife in their home in Rochdale • The assault and robbery of a young woman in Nantwich • The theft of a number of rare breed tortoises from a home in Northwich • A crossbow attack on a wild goose in Chester.|
|8||"Roadshow: Episode 8"||Rav Wilding • Michelle Ackerley||15 June 2016|
|Featured cases: An armed robbery at a family run post office in Eccleston • The unsolved murder of a self-employed mechanic and handyman at his home in Inverness • A distraction burglary on the home of a vulnerable pensioner in Huyton • The assault and robbery of former Liverpool F.C. chairman David Moores at his home in Liverpool.|
|9||"Roadshow: Episode 9"||Rav Wilding • Michelle Ackerley||16 June 2016|
|Featured cases: The unsolved murder of a twenty-year old student who was gunned down in a takeaway in Stretford in 2008 • A trio of distraction thieves targeting pensioners across the South East • The sexual assault and robbery of a young girl in Salford • The brutal assault on a nineteen-year-old man out celebrating his birthday in Preston.|
|10||"Roadshow: Episode 10"||Rav Wilding • Michelle Ackerley||17 June 2016|
|Featured cases: The assault of a visually impaired man in his home in Hulme • An attack on a disabled woman with learning difficulties in Wigan • The theft and murder of a family dog in Romiley • The assault of a young man outside the Tiger Tiger nightclub in Manchester • The search for a gang of distraction burglars in Suffolk.|
|11||"Roadshow: Episode 11"||Rav Wilding • Michelle Ackerley||20 June 2016|
|Featured cases: The brutal murder of an 80-year-old man in his own home in Rotherham • A distraction burglary in Leeds • A series of related house burglaries in Derbyshire • The theft of firefighting and rescue equipment from a fire station in Meltham • A arson attack which resulted in the death of over 200 pigeons in Barnsley.|
|12||"Roadshow: Episode 12"||Rav Wilding • Michelle Ackerley||21 June 2016|
|Featured cases: The theft of £140,000 worth of parts for the Porsche Carrera GT from a garage in Leeds • The disappearance of an 86-year-old man from his home near Bluewater • The theft of a prized Star Wars collection from its owner in Doncaster • An assault on a pensioner in Dewsbury, in which his hand was severed with a meat cleaver.|
|13||"Roadshow: Episode 13"||Rav Wilding • Michelle Ackerley||22 June 2016|
|Featured cases: The attack and rape of a young woman in Leeds city centre • The assault and murder of a man in his own home in Doncaster • The theft of jewellery from a vulnerable pensioner in Batley • An armed raid on a Toby Carvery restaurant in Rotherham on Mother's day • A hit and run involving a young female victim in Dagenham.|
|14||"Roadshow: Episode 14"||Rav Wilding • Michelle Ackerley||23 June 2016|
|Featured cases: An armed robbery at a family home in Askham Richard in which a two-year-old was threatened with a shotgun • The search for rioters involved with violence at the Euro 2016 championships in France • The attempted kidnapping of a teenager in Hull • The theft of bank cards in a 'shoulder surfing' robbery in York.|
|15||"Roadshow: Episode 15"||Rav Wilding • Michelle Ackerley||24 June 2016|
|Featured cases: The theft from and assault of a disabled student in Newcastle • The theft of specially adapted bikes for disabled riders in Sunderland • The search for poachers illegally trespassing on protected land in Gateshead • A team of rogue traders operating a fake drive repair business targeting pensioners in Sunderland.|
|16||"Roadshow: Episode 16"||Rav Wilding • Michelle Ackerley||27 June 2016|
|Featured cases: An armed robbery at a country pub in Derbyshire during the Easter bank holiday • A life changing assault on a young man on the doorstep of his home in Bolton • An armed robbery at a KFC branch in Alfreton • A burglar who targeted the home of a 94-year-old woman whilst she was sleeping in Sutton Bonnington.|
|17||"Roadshow: Episode 17"||Rav Wilding • Michelle Ackerley||28 June 2016|
|Featured cases: The brutal assault of a man and his son who tried to stop a burglary in Blyth • A homophobic attack in a shopping centre in Birmingham • The search for a gang of distraction burglars in the West Midlands • The assault of young man in Birmingham city centre • The search for a missing 18-year-old man from Rhyl.|
|18||"Roadshow: Episode 18"||Rav Wilding • Michelle Ackerley||29 June 2016|
|Featured cases: A series of linked sex attacks on young female students in Birmingham • A violent house burglary in Oldbury in which a 14-year-old girl was threatened • The assault of and theft from a diamond dealer in Birmingham • The murder of a young woman in Edinburgh • A hit and run involving a motorbike courier in Northfield.|
|19||"Roadshow: Episode 19"||Rav Wilding • Michelle Ackerley||30 June 2016|
|Featured cases: An armed robbery at the home of Oasis tribute singer Ian Alcock in Talke • The murder of a young father on Father's day in Hereford • A distraction robbery involving a vulnerable pensioner in Wells • The disappearance of a house husband twenty-four years ago from Bitterne • A burglary at a pet shop in Gwent.|
|20||"Roadshow: Episode 20"||Rav Wilding • Michelle Ackerley||1 July 2016|
|Featured cases: An arson attack on a recently renovated grand home in Gilwern • A series of sex attacks on young woman in Hereford • An unsolved shooting of a young man in Chingford • An assault on a pensioner on the way back from posting a letter in Newport • The crackdown on illegal cigarette vendors operating in Derby.|