One television programme shown by BBC Scotland has been an instant success with many around Scotland. The programme has also come in for some criticism due to some of the content. A facebook campaign has started to encourage the BBC to air the final two episodes, but this won’t happen because of outstanding criminal proceedings that could potentially be prejudiced by the show. The programme in question is “The Scheme”.
BBC Scotland spent one year filming six families on a tough estate in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire. This filming has been turned into a programme looking at the lives of those families. However, scenes of drug taking, assaults and attempts to defeat the ends of justice have all caused some condemnation.
The final two episodes in the four part series have been postponed indefinatley as someone who has not yet featured in the programme, but is due to during the final two episodes, has outstanding criminal proceedings. The series has been postponed in order to prevent prejudice in the proceedings.
In the first episode aired on Tuesday 18 May one of those featured in the show admits to providing a false alibi to officers from Strathclyde Police. This of course amounts to a very serious offence and her admission had been broadcast on national TV.
During the start of the first episode there were scenes of someone injecting what appeared to be heroin. While it would be impossible to prosecute for posession as the substance cannot be confirmed as being heroin, this was highly inappropriate.
We have also seen scenes of persons being assisted out of a property in order to avoid the police as they have outstanding arrest warrants and also what clearly constitutes an assault having taken place. All of this and more has been broadcast on National TV.
It concerns me greatly that the BBC thought it appropriate to film, produce and air the series.
When I contacted Strathclyde Police in relation to the series a spokesperson said “Strathclyde Police has an obligation to investigate any allegation of criminality” and added that “there is no further comment available at this time.”
I have also contacted the BBC to try and ascertain whether they have passed any footage recorded in the making of “The Scheme” to Strathclyde Police. However, they are yet to respond. I shall of course publish any response I received from them here.
In addition to this I have contacted East Ayrshire Council in relation to the programme, but have yet to recieve a response. Once again I shall publish any statement or comment they make.