The Mail on Sunday - Event - - THE TV PAGE -

BBC3, from 10am

The shock­ing true pic­ture of the war on drugs on Bri­tain’s streets is re­vealed in this new four-part doc­u­men­tary se­ries, be­gin­ning with events cen­tring around Bris­tol’s no­to­ri­ous Hep­burn Road – known to lo­cals as ‘Crack Al­ley’.

Seen from the point of view of the po­lice who are con­duct­ing a surveil­lance op­er­a­tion, the lo­ca­tion is rife with crim­i­nals – many of them armed and dan­ger­ous – and the only ques­tion is how to clamp down on the open drug deal­ing with­out start­ing a riot when mak­ing mass ar­rests.

But we also see the sit­u­a­tion through the eyes of the ad­dicts, most af­fect­ingly a young girl, Safi (above), who has re­peat­edly re­lapsed back into us­ing. And, hid­den be­hind a mask, a dealer talks us through the tricks of his sick­en­ing trade: how­ever much we might de­spise him, it’s a chill­ing yet fas­ci­nat­ing in­sight into a multi-bil­lion­pound busi­ness that dom­i­nates the lives of so many Bri­tons.

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