Saturday night live with the police force

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The Independent Online

Media Correspondent

ITV will broadcast an extraordinary two-hour programme on Saturday night showing the police in action around Britain - arresting suspects, breathalysing drivers and cracking down on prostitution.

Police Action Live is to be made by ITN, which says the programme will offer "an unedited glimpse of policing as it happens" and claims it will be the first live documentary of the police in action.

The one-off special will be anchored by the ITN newscaster Dermot Murnaghan and will show Fiona Foster, presenter of Carlton's London Tonight local news programme, reporting from Scotland Yard.

The programme makers will not inform the members of the public involved that they are being filmed and in many cases they will be unaware that footage is being transmitted live to millions of viewers.

To ensure this, reporting teams will be provided with cameras the size of lipsticks and with specially equipped cars with larger cameras fitted to the roof and dashboard.

Footage will switch between a vice patrol in Manchester, a foot patrol in Northumbria, a policewoman answering 999 calls at Scotland Yard, and the custody suite at Charing Cross police station in central London.

Other mobile units will based in Hampshire, the North-east, Manchester and London but ITN will not specify the locations to avoid attracting crowds of camera-happy viewers.