Panorama: Police: Shooting to Kill?
Date: January 20, 2014
First broadcast on BBC One, then made available online through BBC iPlayer.
This exclusive investigation focuses on the country’s police firearms unit, and how officers are consistently questioned on the extremity of their lethal force to tackle serious organised crime.
Alistair Jackson emphatically notes that these highly-trained marksmen are under intense scrutiny for the lengths they go to protect the public (the viewer).
The variety of cinematic techniques serves to make the broadcast dramatic – jump-cuts, split-screen and atmospheric music are all intermittently employed. The top of the programme accompanies a shooting at a house between the tenants and the police, however we are never told the consequences or reason for the intervention.
To convey honesty in an interview with an independent expert there are shots which show lighting and camera equipment – breaking down the fourth wall. Elsewhere, the episode tracks the trials of officer’s who are facing prosecution for ‘unlawful killings’. The subsequent interviews of the suspects are conducted with their backs visible in the camera’s foreground, in order to conceal their identities. The room is also partially lit, with only a spotlight on the reporter, for a heightened sense of drama.
The stock footage is of recent events such as Mark Duggan’s murder, therefore adding to the immediacy of the report. The reliability of the report hence becomes just as important as the action of the narrative.