Tees

New Benefits Street series 'assessed' by Cleveland Police

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Media captionLocal MP Alex Cunningham and resident Dorothy Taylor spoke to Victoria Derbyshire about the programme

Scenes from the new series of Benefits Street are to be assessed by police after footage of apparent drug misuse and criminal activity was shown in the first episode.

The current run of the Channel 4 show, set in Kingston Road, Stockton-on-Tees, aired on Monday night.

Cleveland Police said some scenes may have caused concern about criminality.

The force said programme makers Love Productions had not "actively engaged" with them during filming.

Ch Supt Gordon Lang said police had been aware the show was being filmed "for some time", but it had not worked with Channel 4 or the production company.

"Like viewers across the country, we saw the episode broadcast tonight for the first time and some viewers will be concerned about the drug misuse and criminal activity being shown," he said.

"We will assess the footage as to whether it can assist us in any live investigations or whether new investigations will be launched as a result of the programme."

Image caption Residents were filmed on Kingston Road in Stockton

Love Productions said it followed "strict guidelines" about filming illegal activity.

Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham said he was "very concerned" about some of the reactions of the residents on the first show.

He said: "I think it's important they investigate.

"We saw some silly things happen in the programme, children playing up to the cameras, youths trying to throw buckets of paint over reporters.

"All that sort of thing is not typical of the people who live in the area and I'm very sorry we had an influx of people who came in and acted for the cameras and of course created this show."

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