Police to complain about West documentary

The Chief Constable of Gloucestershire is to lodge a complaint about the ‘‘cruel titillation’’ in a Channel 5 documentary about Fred and Rosemary West, the police confirmed today.

The Chief Constable of Gloucestershire is to lodge a complaint about the ‘‘cruel titillation’’ in a documentary about Fred and Rosemary West, the police confirmed today.

Tim Brain said he was concerned about the feelings of the families of victims as well as the legal questions raised by the documentary, Fred and Rose West The Murders.

Complaints made to the Attorney General and the Independent Television Commission before the programme was screened are now being reiterated after the documentary was broadcast.

Andy Waldron, spokesman for Gloucestershire Police said today: ‘‘Before the film went out we wrote to the Attorney General.

‘‘He said he had a sworn affidavit that anything that was going to be used was going to be used appropriately but did not have the benefit of seeing the tapes.

‘‘We now can write to the Attorney General again and state fact and ask him to have a look at it and hopefully take some action.’’

He said they had also written to the ITC, who could not take action before the programme was broadcast, and ask them to take a look at the programme.

‘‘The programme was fairly out of context and not of the best taste,’’ he said.

He said the police wanted the ITC to have a look at what was used and how it was used.

‘‘Some of the allegations they used to boost their ratings were in fact totally inaccurate,’’ he said.

He said claims there would be fresh evidence were inaccurate.

‘‘It was cruel titillation.

‘‘This is bad for victims and victim’s families, they are on the road to recovery and this intrudes.’’

Mr Brain said earlier this week: ‘‘I’m concerned at the effect that the broadcasting of Fred West’s voice will have on his relatives, the victims’ families and other people traumatised by those horrendous crimes.

‘‘Many of them have already told us of their dismay that these programmes are being broadcast in this way.

He said the Constabulary was not, and never had been, opposed to the making of documentaries about the West case and had never tried to stop Creative Consortium broadcasting the series.

‘‘What we object to is the use of this prosecution material which is subject to legal privilege,’’ he said.

‘‘Our second concern is for the feelings of the families of victims and for the relatives and for those involved in the inquiry.

‘‘We appreciate the case is of public interest but we also believe any programme-makers should handle this matter extremely delicately and be sensitive to the trauma suffered by all those involved.’’

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