Channel 5’s Motorway Cops sees Northumbria Police in ‘kidnap’ chase through South Shields

The first episode of Motorway Cops' new series saw Northumbria Police[1] involved in a 'kidnap' chase through South Shields[2], as the Force's officers became the stars of the show. A popular programme on Channel 5 for years now, Motorway Cops is back for a fifth run and, although there was also footage from both Greater Manchester and Humberside Police, it was Northumbria Police who got the majority of the spotlight in episode one, as the Motorway Cops new cast features several serving officers.[3][4] One of those is Sergeant Dave Roberts, who has over 30 years experience as a copper and was right at the centre of the action in Monday night's instalment.

As well as pulling a vehicle over on Newcastle's Central Motorway for droving with no lights on in treacherous night time conditions, before reporting them for having a child in their vehicle not in a car seat, Sgt Roberts was also at the forefront of the South Tyneside[5] pursuit of a man wanted for possible kidnap offences.

Get all the latest TV and showbiz news and gossip from Chronicle Live with our free newsletter[7].. After being flagged on his radio about the suspect driving in the Tyne Dock area of South Shields, Sgt Roberts headed in his direction, activating his siren and blue lights of his unmarked police car to race through Gateshead en route, as Motorway Cops narrator Nicky Campbell explained: "Conspiracy to kidnap is often linked to organised crime."

As cameras filmed him behind the wheel, Sgt Roberts commented: "The element of surprise is what we're looking for, so if we can put a tactic on that can get that vehicle to start without engaging in active pursuit, then that's definitely the way forward, but, actually, within that there's a world of risk." The hunt involved four more patrols and a firearms unit, as Sgt Roberts received word that the vehicle was en route to a particular address, before also being told by a colleague that the man 'needed to be locked up' for conspiracy to kidnap, blackmail and full section 18 assault. The chase saw officers swarm the property in question ready to force entry, as a police helicopter hovered above, only for their search to be in vain as there was no trace of the wanted man at the address.

A call them came of a hit on another vehicle associated with the suspect, with Sgt Roberts swiftly getting back in his car to head off in search of it.

Sergeant Dave Roberts in Channel 5's Motorway CopsSergeant Dave Roberts in Channel 5's Motorway Cops

Playing catch up, he spotted two patrol cars directly behind the targeted car, before arriving to question the occupants of the vehicle both linked to the suspect, on his whereabouts and seizing the vehicle.

With Sgt Roberts happy at taking the car off the streets, viewers at home were then informed that the wanted man was tracked down 24 hours later and charged with false imprisonment, assault and blackmail and remanded in custody.


  1. ^ Northumbria Police (
  2. ^ South Shields (
  3. ^ Motorway Cops new cast (
  4. ^ several serving officers. (
  5. ^ South Tyneside (
  6. ^