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Wanted to tell revealing, human-driven story about police: ”Crime Stories: India Detective” producer


PTI, Oct 14, 2021, 4:04 PM IST

New Delhi:  With her Netflix docuseries “Crime Stories: India Detective”, producer Claire Cahill says the aim was to get a peek into the lives of the police as they investigate major crimes in Bengaluru, the bustling metropolis of Karnataka.
The docuseries, which premiered on the streaming service last month, chronicles a never-seen-before look into the methods and working of the police force, the producer said.

“In terms of global programming, Bengaluru is an Indian city that hasn’t been shown as much as other cities like Mumbai and Delhi. We felt the city itself was in a very unique time with the modernisation, growing population and exponential pressure on the police that comes with it.

“When we were doing our research, we came to Bengaluru and we met with the Commissioner of Police there. He was incredibly supportive of the series and really championed it. He really wanted to offer an opportunity for his officers to be filmed,” Cahill told PTI in an interview.

Cahill has produced the show, which has been directed by Jack Warrender and N Amit.

She said the work started on the series back in 2018 and during the initial stages, the team just shadowed the police officers and observed how they solved crimes without any cameras.

“Stepping foot into a station for the first time, following with an inspector or a DCP for a day, all of those experiences told us that this is a story. There have been lots of stories told about the police in India, about the khaki (uniform) and everything that it certainly represents.

“We thought that there was a real opportunity, if the access was able to be obtained, to show a different side to that and share a really revealing, human-driven story.”

Part of the pitch to the police was to tell them that the team would not only document their professional work but also explore their personal lives, Cahill said.

“A part in understanding what a police officer is, comes from understanding who a police officer is when they”re not wearing the uniform. And so across the board, we made that really clear in the very initial kind of access conversations.

“More importantly, when we were in the station, with officers, gaining that trust, spending time with them when we didn”t have the camera so that we could talk to them about their ambition to try and peel back the layers of khaki really, and show the people behind the uniform,” she added.

The producer’s own takeaway from working on the docuseries was that the jobs of police officers are never easy, especially when the public has overwhelming expectations from them.

“I think what I learned is that it”s quite easy to kind of step into a series like this and think there”s going to be loads of differences. But what I was really surprised about is how many similarities there were between the way that the police work in India and around the world.

“The pressures that they face and the expectations that we as the public put on them, it was really kind of heartening and endearing to see how those officers were really connecting on a professional level because they need to find the suspects in these cases.”

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