AHEAD of the launch of the second series of The Crash Detectives later this evening, representative of Gwent Police have spoken of the impact they hope the show will have.

After any serious incident on the road, a painstaking investigation must take place to work out the cause of the crash.

BBC Wales cameras have been given exclusive access inside the cordon to capture the work of Gwent Police’s dedicated forensic collision investigation unit as they piece together the evidence to get to the truth behind every incident.

Sergeant Bob Witherall is one of the officers to appear on the show and he spoke to the South Wales Argus of how the impact of the force appearing on people's screens had defied his expectations.

"It’s been a bit of a whirlwind," he said.

"The first series was so well received, far beyond our expectations as a team.

"It’s been great to have those opportunities, but the job still goes on. We’ve been out there day after day doing the same thing.

"It shows that things like this aren’t just happening miles away. It’s happening on your doorstep and around the corner. Hopefully it’s made people think about their driving behaviour and road safety."

In the first episode of a brand new series of The Crash Detectives, three cyclists have been struck by a car in Monmouthshire, and it soon becomes clear that it’s a hit and run. With no witnesses - other than the riders involved - one of the victims is left fighting for her life.

It is up to forensic collision investigator Pc Richie Wyatt to find the evidence to work out how the crash happened.

And as mystery surrounds the death of a delivery driver on a busy dual carriageway, it is up the team to establish just why his vehicle left the road.

Sergeant Witherall said that giving members of the public the chance to get a sneak peek into what goes into a investigation of this sort can be invaluable.

"It’s been a privilege really," he said.

"To let them know how detailed the investigations are and why roads are closed for so long. To give them that insight into how much investigation goes into a collision.

"It all helps to take away the myth that it’s ‘just a crash’ and that we just grab the brushes and sweep everything to the roadside.

"It’s a far more detailed process than this."


Sergeant Witherall explained that what people may not realise is that the process is extremely scientific and that, even though the crash itself may appear to have been cleared, the work has just begun for the investigators.

"It is a science. It’s a lot of maths, a lot of physics and a lot of expertise.

"It’s a real technical science, working out speeds and all sorts of other factors like damage, marks on the road and those sorts of things.

"We’re deemed expert witnesses by the courts because of the nature of the training and experience we have."

That expertise is also vital, says Sergeant Witherall, when it comes to answering any questions that family members of those involved may have.

"We have to be able to stand in front of a family who have lost somebody or had someone seriously injured and be able to answer all their questions," he said.

"I’m certainly not happy if I’m not able to answer all the questions."

South Wales Argus:

Chief Constable Pam Kelly

Chief Constable Pam Kelly spoke of her pride in relation to all of the officers included in the television programme and those in other departments working just as hard.

"I’m absolutely delighted that Gwent Police is now going onto their second series," she said.

"It shows the quality of the officers that we have in these specialist roles. It also shows the quality that we have in Gwent Police as a whole because, as people watch the series, they will see the professionalism, the steadfastness and how tenacious people are in terms of the investigations.

"Sometimes we need to change the narrative of the perception the public have of policing.

"Most people think that we’re out there driving cars and responding to calls. They don’t always see what’s hidden in the specialisms and the specialists undertaking that work.

"Collision investigators, specialist firearms officers, public order specialists, cybercrime specialists. Policing has so many facets to it."

Ms Kelly said that while she is extremely pleased that such hardworking police teams are getting the recognition they deserve, she is also very aware that every job they get called out to has a human side to it.

"As we watch the series, it’s important that we realise that behind every incident there is a casualty, there is a death and there is a family which is hurting," she said.

"It’s an opportunity for us to show them the professionalism and commitment we have to investigating. "Also, it’s a chance to thank them for allowing us to show what has been filmed because without the loved ones agreeing to this, other members of the public may not have the chance to learn about what the impact of these accidents could be."

The Crash Detectives airs at 8pm tonight on BBC One Wales, and the series will also be available on BBC iPlayer.