Skip to main content
Abused by the Police

Reporter Ellie Flynn, pictured, investigates

Abused By The Police?, a new documentary which is available on BBC iPlayer and will also be shown on BBC1 tonight, highlights an alarming statistic – in the last ten years in America, 2,200 police officers have been arrested in connection with sexual assault.

Furthermore, around half of the complainants of those alleged crimes are under 18. Here, reporter Ellie Flynn travels to America to hear from some of the women who claim that police officers have sexually assaulted them after they’ve been taken into custody.

The documentary highlights how in parts of America gaps in the law mean that it's not a crime for a police officer to have sex with somebody in their custody.

Ellie also speaks to Dr Phil Stinson, an academic at Bowling Green State University in Ohio who has been tracking accusations against police offers across the whole of America.

Plus, she also talks to Baltimore whistle blower Larry Smith. He tells Ellie that there is a culture of “the blue wall of silence,” which sees police officers refusing to report on each other. He claims this is preventing cases being investigated.

Abused By The Police? is already available to watch on BBCiPlayer and can also be seen tonight on BBC1 at 10.35pm.

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.


Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 


David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.


Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!