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Union To Make Formal Complaints To OFCOM and City Of London Police On Channel 4 Programme The Heist

The GMB, the union representing thousands of security industry workers, today announced that it was making two formal complaints regarding the channel 4 programme "The Heist" broadcast last night. GMB has slammed the Channel 4's broadcasting of a programme which stages members of the public conducting a simulated armed robbery as irresponsible and insensitive in the light of increases in violent attacks on security staff and in particular on Cash in Transit security staff.

GMB are writing to make formal complaints to broadcast regulator OFCOM and to the Commissioner of City of London Police for their co-operation with the programme makers Objective Productions. GMB Senior Organiser Martin Hird said

"GMB condemn Channel 4's broadcasting of a programme which stages an armed robbery as irresponsible and insensitive in the light of increases in violent attacks on security staff."

"We also have serious concerns about the programme being produced with involvement from the police and banking community."

"Channel 4 bosses should try telling people who have been on the receiving end of these terrifying attacks that the trauma they have suffered should be used for entertainment. One of our members, Colin Baker, was shot and seriously wounded in such an attack, and he and his family certainly didn't find this show entertaining, and nor did we. GMB is making formal complaints to the broadcast authorities and to the police on this"

GMB member Colin Baker, who was shot and suffered permanent damage to his hip and leg, commented:

"I completely deplore the programme for what it was portraying. If Channel 4 wanted the shock factor, perhaps they could have shown the CCTV footage of my attack - real life, not entertainment."

GMB branch Secretary Nigel Smith added:

"The programme was in very poor taste and we are appalled. What's next? Brainwashing people into carrying out a terrorist attack? I'm sure there would be an outcry at that, but Derren Brown and the programme makers obviously didn't consider that real people are being hurt and wounded on a regular basis in attacks like the ones they portrayed. I am disgusted."

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