Every contact leaves a trace. How the latest forensic science is helping detectives catch criminals who have evaded the law for decades.

Across the UK, there are hundreds of thousands of unsolved sexual offences lying dormant in police archives. Some go back decades.

By harnessing the power of modern DNA techniques, an exceptional group of detectives has been achieving what was previously impossible – identifying perpetrators and getting justice for victims whose crimes happened years ago. They have achieved great success, with the team winning 90% of the cases it has taken to court, proving that there is no timescale on justice. And with conviction rates around the country so low, it begs the question: shouldn’t every police force in the country be doing the same?

Moving and powerful, this unprecedented access based series takes us into the cutting-edge science identifying the offenders, the emotional stories of the victims at the heart of these stories and follows the determined detectives hot on their trails. It delivers a rare insight into catching Britain’s rapists as these compelling cases unfold.


Detectives try to find the man responsible for the kidnap and serious sexual assault of two schoolgirls back in 2002. Meanwhile, can they use modern DNA techniques to identify the perpetrator of a rape from 40 years ago?


Will DNA testing help detectives find a rapist who has gone unpunished for nearly 30 years? Meanwhile, have they finally found the man who kidnapped and sexually assaulted two schoolgirls 20 years ago?

"I applaud the unsensational tone the documentary took. There were no racy re-enactments, just sensitively delivered information." THE I
"Stands out... a gripping account of historical crimes and those who solve them and the processes are fascinating." THE GUARDIAN
**** [Four Stars] THE I
**** [Four Stars] THE GUARDIAN
"Powerful." THE SUN
"A calm, forensic approach to sensitive investigations." THE I
"Sensitive." THE GUARDIAN
"Remarkable." THE GUARDIAN
"The stories are told carefully, with respect for the victims and for the officers meticulously reassembling what is often complex historical evidence and applying new techniques to it." THE GUARDIAN


2 x one hour







Producer & Director

Natasha Zinni

Executive Producer

Malcolm Brinkworth

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