Secret filming for BBC programme reveals abuse of asylum seekers

By Caitlin Pike

The BBC’s Real Story documentary, Detention Undercover , took nine
months of investigative research, including three months of secret
filming, to reveal asylum seekers and immigrants being racially and
physically abused by security guards in a Cambridgeshire detention
centre.

The programme’s findings were presented to the Home Office and also
to private security company, Global Solutions Limited, which employed
the guards whose behaviour had been caught on camera. As a result, a
number of employees were suspended.

Leo Telling, series producer,
said: “We have very strict rules at the BBC around secret filming, so
we had to have a certain amount of prima facie evidence that abuse had
been taking place before we sent the undercover reporters to work at
the centre and begin filming.

“Reporters Simon Boazman and Andy Pagnacco both got jobs at the centre after a lengthy vetting process.

From day one they were getting material that backed up our previous research.

Although they were there for three months, we could have pulled out earlier and still had enough material for a programme.”

Telling
said the Home Office had agreed to an interview if it was allowed to
view the completed programme, but then it additionally requested to see
all the rushes.

He told Press Gazette : “We can’t show them the
rushes – that would be like a journalist having to show all the notes
in their notebook before being able to interview someone.”

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