This programme explores the lives of legal and illegal immigrants living in the UK. It comes at a time when immigration to the UK is at an all-time high and the issue at the centre of political debate.
In Crewe, PC Greg Greaves and two other patrols are dispatched after reports of a fight. On arriving at an over-populated flat, filled with eastern European migrant workers, who don’t speak much English, it’s tricky to work out exactly who’s been hit by whom.
PC Greaves also finds himself in a heated arrest after reports of shoplifting from a supermarket. He has to call for backup as the two suspects shout claims of abuse and racism at him.
“Its water off a duck’s back,” says PC Greaves. “The amount of names you can get called, I used to have a little list of all the words. You’d get called something then you’d Google translate it and you’d find out what they were saying.”
Last year, nearly 43,000 racially-motivated hate crimes were reported across the UK. With the number of racially-aggravated incidents dealt with by Cheshire Police on a typical weekend doubling in the last five years, PC Niaz Waddington and his colleagues are keeping a close eye on Saturday night revelers in Warrington.
Incidents range from shouts of ‘ISIS’ and ‘terrorist’ to a man arrested for verbally abusing Muslim taxi drivers. “You do need to send a clear message out to people who think it is fun to call people names. Those are the people I’ve got no time of day for and hopefully the law throws the book at them,” says PC Waddington.
Every month, almost 400 legal, and a growing number of illegal immigrants, arrive in Cheshire. With major road connections across the country, the county has become a popular drop off point for new arrivals.
PC Racheal Parr is sent to a petrol station to meet Warrington’s latest would-be resident. He asked for the police to be called so he can hand himself over to the authorities. “They’re hiding in trucks. They’re literally in there for days on end,” says PC Parr. “They’re in a foreign country, they don’t know where to go, what to do. They want to be arrested, they want to be taken to a place of safety – it’s sheer desperation.”
The new series of 999:What’s Your Emergency? focuses on the work of police and paramedics in Cheshire. The series follows incidents from the moment the 999 call is made to the arrival of the frontline police and paramedics – the hard-working men and women who protect us from ourselves and each other, while seeing us as we really are. They talk with honesty and wit about the ever-increasing challenges of modern Britain.