Police Interceptors is a British TV documentary series that profiles the work of a police ANPR Intercept Team (now known as the Territorial Support Team) in Essex (series 1-3), South Yorkshire Police's Road Crime Unit and Derbyshire Police's Road Policing Unit in series 4, the Cumbria Constabulary's Roads Policing Unit in series 5, and Lincolnshire's police from series 6 onward. The documentary has been broadcast by Channel 5 since the first episode on 9 May 2008.
The series features the following police officers from Essex Police, South Yorkshire Police, Derbyshire Constabulary and Cumbria Constabulary involved in high-speed car chases following car thieves in stolen vehicles, speeding and drunken drivers. They use the latest high-speed police cars to follow and hunt down boy racers presenting a danger to the public. The Interceptors also use the latest number-plate reading technology (ANPR) to detect drivers without car insurance, often resulting in an argument with the driver and the disclosure of other crimes. The chases are often interspersed with light-hearted incidents involving the team's food breaks, harmless drunks and practical jokes in the incident room. The show often identifies officers by humorous nicknames and on-screen graphics feature data on their years in service, likes and dislikes. Most incidents are tracked down by uniform officers from the Interceptor team but plain clothes and undercover police have also featured in the series.
Series 1 began on 9 May 2008 on Channel 5 (as Five) and ran for six weeks with an additional compilation episode. Series 2 began at 8pm on 10 October 2008 on Channel 5 and ran for twelve weeks with two additional compilation episodes. Series 3 began on 7 June 2010 on Five for 15 episodes. Series 4 began on 13 June 2011 on Channel 5 for 18 episodes as they followed South Yorkshire’s Road Crime Unit. Series 5, consisting of 10 episodes, began on the 28 January 2013, following Cumbria Constabulary.
Series following the work of a high-speed police interception unit in Essex. Police chase a drug dealer on a motorway at night, a drunk driver endangers his life in a bid to avoid arrest and the team of interceptors pursue one of the area's most wanted car thieves.
9 May 2008
The Essex-based high-speed police interception unit pursue a gang of would-be jewellery thieves, while a burglar leads the team on a car chase.
16 May 2008
The high-speed police interception officers pursue a thief in a souped-up Ford Mondeo who outwits their turbocharged cars and causes chaos when he drives up a one-way street in the wrong direction. After one of the unit's vehicles is rammed, a stinger device is called upon to stop the criminal in his tracks.
23 May 2008
The police pursue an escaped prisoner driving a stolen Ford Focus down the wrong side of a dual carriageway and a stolen van being driven erratically through the streets of Essex. Plus, the Air Support Unit's helicopter is called into action late at night to look for an armed robber.
30 May 2008
A police chase ends with the driver of a stolen Lexus crashing the luxury motor, and the police interception unit deal with a car which is deemed too sexy by officers. Elsewhere, a high-speed pursuit results in a head-on collision with one of the team's hi-tech vehicles.
6 June 2008
The team discover the garage hideout of a gang of burglars in a country lane, and pursue a BMW driver who endangers his life by running across four lanes of a busy dual carriageway to escape with a suspicious package. The police interceptors also apprehend a mother driving with no tax, insurance or MOT, who turns out never to have passed her driving test.
13 June 2008
A compilation of footage from the first series following the work of the high-speed police interception unit in Essex.
A pair of knife-wielding criminals driving a stolen vehicle are pursued by the officers, and the number plate on a drug dealer's car flashes up on the police radar, leading to a risky interception.
10 October 2008
The unit are called to the heart of the Essex countryside, where they face a race against time to help rescue a man pinned beneath a tractor, and the air support crew are called out at night to assist in the high-speed pursuit of a car thief in Southend. Meanwhile, the interceptors pursue a rogue driver around the back alleys of north east London.
17 October 2008
The police are led on a high-speed chase across north London by car thieves, and also respond to reports of a driver swerving across a motorway. Meanwhile, the interceptors stop a vehicle, but find the occupants armed and ready for any encounter.
24 October 2008
Officers pursue a group of international car thieves as they try to leave the country in a stolen BMW, and police chase a drunk driver through Epping Forest. In Southend, burglary suspects fleeing back to London find themselves surrounded by multiple interceptor units.
31 October 2008
The unit's high-tech helicopter is called upon to help in the pursuit of a motorcyclist who is driving at speeds of up to 130 mph and shows no sign of slowing down for oncoming traffic or police cars. Meanwhile, a petrol thief risks danger when trying to destroy the evidence and an officer road-tests the latest weapon in the ongoing fight against crime - a Subaru Impreza STi.
7 November 2008
The police dog unit is called into action to chase a thief seen trying to break into a lorry, and the pursuit of a Land Rover leads the interceptors to a haul of prestige stolen cars. A seized Lamborghini brings out the team's competitive streak, and the presence of an intruder puts the station on full alert.
14 November 2008
Featuring some of the best moments of the series so far, including the pursuit of two knife-wielding robbers endangering both themselves and the public in a stolen Toyota. The officers also use a mixture of technology and old-fashioned legwork to chase a drug dealer whose number plate flashes up a warning on the PNC.
21 November 2008
Break in schedule
The officers in Essex are called upon to take drastic action when a pursuit from London arrives in their area, and a car thief is forced to face the consequences of his actions.
13 February 2009
Members of Essex's high-speed police interception unit chase a kidnapper in a lorry across three counties. Elsewhere, the team's adapted vehicles are pushed to speeds of up to 115 mph while in pursuit of a joyrider. The officers also get a chance to drive with the Subaru World Rally Team.
20 February 2009
A high-speed chase comes to an end when the pursued car becomes trapped in a cul-de-sac, but catching the robbers involved proves more difficult. Meanwhile, officers are forced to get physical when a fight erupts outside a nightclub, and boy racers in Southend are stopped in their tracks.
27 February 2009
Essex's high-speed police interception unit chases the drivers of a stolen BMW X5, and the Stanway team gives two unsuspecting car thieves an early morning wake-up call. Elsewhere, officers discover a vehicle that has been turned into a four-wheeled petrol bomb, and a road-tax evader encounters trouble with the law.
2 March 2009
Stanway Police are first on the scene of a bad car crash on a country road. Four cop cars pursue a speeding Jeep down the M25. An 83-year-old man fails to notice that police are trying to pull him over. Elsewhere, the interceptors join forces with Kent Police for Operation Lockdown, with all entrances and exits to the Lakeside Shopping complex being monitored by automatic number plate recognition technology.
6 March 2009
The interceptors have to drop everything when a speeding 4x4 rushes past them. The Stanway team pursues a man with a machete on the run in a public park. At police headquarters, the chief inspector unveils the latest weapon in the interceptors' arsenal.
13 March 2009
Featuring some of the best moments from episodes 8-13 of Police Interceptors Series 2.
Three police units unite in an effort to stop an out of control 4x4 as it careens dangerously through the streets of Basildon. And the ever-reliable Eurocopter is on the trail of a pair of delinquent teenage car thieves.
7 June 2010
Police race to intercept three men suspected of robbing a string of plumbers' merchants. A fleeing van speeds the wrong way round a major roundabout and causes a huge crash. Police investigate illegally customised motors in Basildon, and a man threatens to take on a whole street full of officers.
14 June 2010
Four joyriders have a lucky escape from the wreckage of a Ford Mondeo, stolen property is found in the back of a vehicle, and the interceptors have to rush to stop a suicidal man from jumping onto the M25.
21 June 2010
The officers intercept a stolen car, foil a cannabis grower, engage in a series of drugs raids and calm a drunken sailor.
28 June 2010
The officers intervene in a public case of spousal abuse, chase after a racing 4x4 and try to break a county-wide car theft operation.
5 July 2010
The officers face a 40-mile dash to prevent a potential suicide. One of the Evos comes a cropper on the road, and a thief is caught with a haul of stolen clothes in his van.
12 July 2010
The interceptors catch a gang of car thieves red-handed. Officers clamp down on car crime at Essex's biggest shopping centre and help get the M25 moving after an accident.
19 July 2010
Officers conduct a 48-hour hunt for a thief who stole a 4x4, and their perseverance pays off when they manage to catch the culprit. Meanwhile, in Clacton-on-Sea, a tip-off sends the interceptors to a drug den, and the Essex chopper team co-ordinates a manhunt when three high-profile suspects evade capture by fleeing into a field full of cows.
26 July 2010
A knife-wielding man ruins New Year celebrations, and the interceptors race to capture a gang of fugitives. As snow causes chaos on the roads, Grant becomes furious with the guardian of a child travelling without a seatbelt.
6 August 2010
Biggers and Andy track down a suspected drug runner on the M25. Emily and Grant join forces with Ofcom to raid an illegal pirate radio station. The new Evo 10 goes down a storm with thousands of boy racers at the national car cruise.
13 August 2010
The officers chase three men armed with a burglary toolkit and also stop a suspected drug-driver.
20 August 2010
Officers contend with riotous World Cup revellers, an offender who has breached his ASBO and a shifty suspected drug dealer. Elsewhere, the interceptors are forced to close the Dartford Crossing in order to halt a stolen vehicle.
27 August 2010
A rude biker finds himself the subject of police attention, and a disqualified driver tries to evade the long arm of the law.
3 September 2010
The police helicopter pursues an armed thief who is trying to evade arrest, and the team's new recruits put their detective skills to the test by apprehending suspected burglars. Elsewhere, PC Russ Gay tries to calm down a group of unruly drunken youths, and a sniffer dog makes an interesting discovery inside a stolen car.
10 September 2010
The team pulls over a very angry driver and the Air Support Unit has its work cut out pursuing an athletic burglar.
A new series follows officers in South Yorkshire's Road Crime Unit, which is based in Sheffield. They pursue a drunken driver and join forces with the helicopter to track down a wanted criminal on a motorcycle. Meanwhile, a new driver crashes into an unmarked police car.
13 June 2011
The unit uses 20 cars and two helicopters in its pursuit of a reckless driver across two counties. Officers also discover more than expected when they track down a runaway motorcyclist, and a torrential downpour hampers the work of law enforcers at a traffic collision on the M1.
20 June 2011
The unit pursues an armed drink-driver through a graveyard, and a romantic night out is disrupted by an alcohol-fuelled brawl. Officers also give a lesson in road safety to a man who used his moped to transport more people than it was designed for.
27 June 2011
Officers track down a driver trying to outrun the law, and hatch a plan to apprehend a disqualified motorist. Elsewhere, a man makes a feeble effort to hide his identity from the police.
4 July 2011
A drug dealer who has been driving dangerously reveals a surprising amount of information when he is pulled over, and friends try to baffle the team by changing their names. Also, an officer has a shock in store for a law-breaking driver.
11 July 2011
A large quantity of drugs is discovered when an uninsured motorist is pulled over, the helicopter is used to track down a pair of burglars. A driver suspected of road rage is stopped and found to be armed with a table leg, finally an officer's search for people who avoided paying a taxi fare causes disruption.
18 July 2011
An officer pulls over a Lamborghini that is not quite what it seems, another officer is involved in a risky confrontation with a gang of hoodies. Finally, police pursue two known offenders through Sheffield.
25 July 2011
An officer is nearly run over by a desperate driver, and another's patience is tested by a drunken motorist. Also an officer goes in search of a suspicious character, and a group of youths tries to deceive the interception unit.
1 August 2011
Break in schedule
The officers from Derbyshire Police have their hand full on Halloween with a gang of lorry thieves trigger a major man hunt, a young man is busted for heroin possession, a fraudster is taken into custody and a high-speed chase involving a supercar travelling at 142 mph.
16 January 2012
The officers catch a driver with suspicious goods in his boot, and the chopper tracks a runaway driver after he ditches his car and legs it to the local fair. Also a drink-driver collides with a surgery, and the driver of an uninsured car tests the officers’ patience to the limit.
23 January 2012
The officers have to deal with a driver who mounts pavements, bumps into cars and collides with an ambulance as he tries to escape. Also an out-of-control motorist crashes into an interceptor's vehicle, and a helicopter is called in when a driver tries to lose his pursuers by taking the chase off-road.
30 January 2012
A drink-driver is involved in a crash, a van full of criminals loses control in a high-speed pursuit, and the police helicopter is involved in a lengthy manhunt. Officers also pursue a motorist who thinks he can outrun the law.
6 February 2012
The officers hunt down a horsebox full of illegal plants, a drunk driver crushes one of the team’s favourite car. Elsewhere officers give an insight into taser tactics, a dopey driver gets a severe dressing down for his attitude to child safety and there is a very important visitor in Chesterfield.
13 February 2012
The officers head to a Christmas party that has turned into a full-blown riot, a driver is chased through Ilkeston also a drunken woman is caught giving her daughter a lift to the shops. Plus, Kev is seconds away from disaster when he places himself in the path of danger to prevent a car from becoming a fire ball.
20 February 2012
A runaway suspect puts officer life in danger, Scott and Adam investigate the contents of a motorist's boot, and officers are called to a New Year's Eve pub brawl. Also five police vehicles are involved in a motorway chase.
27 February 2012
Officers use GPS technology to track a pair of mobile-phone thieves, and a car crashes into a house over the Christmas period. Plus, Nick pursues a criminal gang. Also Jason contends with his own traffic nightmare.
5 March 2012
Officers use GPS technology to track a pair of mobile-phone thieves, Jason searches for a hit-and-run driver after being called to a convenience store. Elsewhere, an uninsured driver tries to wriggle out of a fine.
2 July 2012
A runaway driver is uprooted in a very unusual hiding place.
A new series follows Cumbria Constabulary Road Policing Unit. They pursue a drunk and runaway men who has a knife, also officers deal with a suspected drug dealer, Officers also have to deal with a trailer full of cows that has crashed and blocked a main road into Carlisle. Finally a drunk driver crashes his car into a pub which ruptures main gas pipe
28 January 2013
This time officers have to deal with a stick of dynamite that has been brought into one of Carlisle's police station, also the armed response unit (ARU) are dispatched to report of a gun being spotted in a city centre bar. Officers have to deal with a car crash involving a drunk driver and trapped cyclist. Finally officers help out a teenager when his car hits a wall at night time.
4 February 2013
Phil finds out what happens when the driver of a Subaru Impreza decides to take on an HGV!
11 February 2013
Martin is blown away by a flat-out Focus travelling at over 100 mph along the M6.
18 February 2013
The team smash down a door in order to save a man's life.
24 February 2013
It's Black Eye Friday in Cumbria.
4 March 2013
Break in schedule
A drunken driver is in the fast lane of the M6.
9 September 2013
A van driver tries to ram an officer off the M6.
16 September 2013
Hayley helps two badly injured bikers.
23 September 2013
The team tackles some high-spirited boozers in Barrow.
The Essex series included Best of Police Interceptors showing highlights of the chases and incidents from the previous programmes. At the end of series 4, Ultimate Police Interceptors contained highlights from previous shows with updates on the fate of the criminals since the series' first airing.
A spin-off to series 2, Police Interceptors: Special Edition, was presented by Natalie Pinkham and Chris Barnes on Fiver (now 5*) in 2011. This was a follow-up show to the main edition featuring highlights from the chases, interviews with members of the Essex team and the presenters participating in "hands-on" reconstructions and police training exercises. The series received negative publicity when one presenter, pretending to be a thief stealing a Vauxhall Ambulance Van, was pursued by officers in two patrol cars for around an hour. The police were accused of wasting time and putting lives at risk, although the officers claimed it was part of a training exercise. The show's producer argued that "...It gave" insight into the real work that police do...." Presenters also took part in incident simulations, like driving a car while a stinger is deployed to puncture the car's tyres.