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The Hunt for Britain’s Sex Gangs

Thu May 23, 9-10pm, C4

‘We’re having to give the officers counselling,’ admits one senior copper during this harrowing film exploring a child prostitution ring in Telford. It’s not surprising; anyone even watching this would be well advised to have something cheerful on hand for afterwards.

But watch it you should – this is another hugely worthwhile project from the True Vision team. It follows the Telford investigation through all of its gruelling stages and, even though many of the gory details are spared, enough are not to make it clear what a toll such work must take. But then consider the victims. Sarah, for example, was abused for four years. Most of the girls are isolated from family and friends; transported around the country; imprisoned and raped until suicide seems the only answer. And then those brave enough to testify relive the torment in court as barristers take it in turns to shred their character.

The DPP called for ‘urgent, radical reform’ of our justice system in the light of this case and no wonder. Not easy viewing then, but the commitment involved in making this kind of film demands attention.