New OU/BBC series ‘The Detectives: Murder on the Streets’

Wednesday 20 September sees the start of the second series of a new and chilling BBC/OU Co-production The Detectives: Murder on the Streets on BBC2 at 21:00, produced with the support of The Faculty of Business and Law and The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
With unparalleled and intimate access, this four-part series follows Manchester’s murder/homicide detectives over the course of a year as they try to unravel complex cases in dramatic real time.
In this episode, when a burned body is discovered in a homeless camp under railway arches close to the city centre, GMP’s Major Incident Team are called to the scene and very soon a murder investigation is underway. Detective Superintendent Jon Chadwick, head of MIT, takes on the case but with no CCTV and no witnesses the team has little to go on. As extensive forensic work is carried out at the scene, the investigation leads detectives into the world of Manchester’s exploding young homelessness crisis.
Also in this episode, in another case, a woman is the victim of a horrific petrol bomb attack in her own home. With the suspected attacker, her brother, on the run and armed with more petrol bombs police launch a full scale man hunt…
In episode 2, detectives continue to investigate the murder of a young homeless man Daniel Smith, in the city centre. A man who has been arrested and brought in for questioning says he was in the arches on the night of the murder and has information regarding others who were there at the time.
Meanwhile In Bolton, Greater Manchester, a local man has gone missing and rumours in the community suggest he has come to harm. DCI Sarah Jones is assigned the case and as an extensive search is underway, information comes in which leads detectives to fear the worst. As the team try to pin point the missing man’s last movements, phone data leads them to the last person they believe he was with on the day he disappeared.
With multiple suspects now in custody the investigation in to the murder of Daniel Smith, a young homeless man, continues to prove complex and complicated for the MIT. Interviews are underway with three suspects thought to have been in the railway arch at the time of the murder. As forensic work continues at the crime scene, a hammer believed to be one of the murder weapons is discovered hidden in a sleeping bag.
DCI Sarah Jones is now treating the disappearance of a Bolton man as murder, but with no body found it’s a challenging job for the MIT. Sarah has a suspect in custody and forensic teams searching his property have discovered traces of blood in his flat but who that blood belongs to won’t be known until test results come back.
In this final episode, as detectives and family prepare for the trial in the murder of young homeless man Daniel Smith, the team’s ongoing enquiries lead them to visit a homeless shelter in town. Whilst there, another horrific crime comes to light. A man has just confessed to staff there that he has murdered a student and the body is in student accommodation in the city centre.
As the trial date finally arrives, detectives and family of Daniel Smith are together at court. With the two main suspects pleading not guilty the outcome is now in the hands of the jury…
OpenLearn has extensive content in connection with the series’ subject areas, including an immersive interactive to test your instincts in law, and myth busters on criminology. Visit
The OU Nominated Academics for the series are Hugh McFaul (FBL) and Dr Zoe Walkington (FASS).

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