REVIEW: Ross Kemp's hard-hitting documentary 'wake up call'

By Charlotte Callear | Opinions | Published:

Kemp took a closer look at the work of firearms off from the West Midlands

Ross Kemp with chief scientist Martin Parker

Donning the same body armour he wore in Iraq, Ross Kemp was on the streets of Birmingham as armed police battered down doors, made arrests and discovered deadly weapons.

The hard-hitting ITV documentary, called Ross Kemp and the Armed Police, aired last night and provided an insight into gun crime in the UK which has increased by 20 per cent since 2017.

The Eastenders hard man was dropped straight into the action and joined West Midlands Police in Birmingham because the city has more firearms incidents per head than anywhere else in the UK.

WATCH highlights from the show

Ross Kemp and the Armed Police | First Look | Thursday 6th September 9pm | ITV

Footage showed home raids, the devastating aftermath of a police chase and a post office robbery.

With exclusive interviews with gun smugglers, gangs, police and victims, he addressed issues including dwindling police numbers and knife crime among young people in the action-packed show.


There are 20,000 fewer officers in the UK than 2010 and the number of police with firearms had increased to combat the terrorist threat.

The gravity of the situation hit home as Chief Inspector Danny Delaney, who runs the firearms unit, admitted officers are sent out to gun-related crimes every day.

Ross Kemp with Sergeant Jon Symes of West Midlands Police

With apathy, gun smugglers admitted how easy it was to import firearms from America, how they do not feel concerned about its impact and how they are trapped in the lifestyle.


The criminals, who hid behind masks and technology to alter their voices, went on to claim police have no control and gun crimes are only going to get worse.

Later, gang members were surprisingly honest about how they were lured into the glamorised lifestyle as young as 13-years-old.

Ross Kemp with gun smuggler

The show created a buzz on social media and West Midlands Police tweeted that they recovered 144 illegal firearms last year and have recovered more than 40 viable firearms this year. Despite decreased officer numbers, training has increased.

Kemp tweeted during a live question and answer on Twitter: "I think I was gobsmacked for most of it. I couldn't believe it was happening in my country. It has to be a wake up call for all of us"

The documentary kicked off ITV’s Crime and Punishment season.

Charlotte Callear

By Charlotte Callear

Reporter based at the Express & Star's Wolverhampton head office


Top Stories


More from the Express & Star

UK & International News