Blast from the past - Police 6

Whatever happened to Police 6, UTV’s iconic public service programme which aired during the 1980s to inform us of stolen Royal Doulton figurines and gold carriage clocks?

Saturday, 1st May 2021, 7:00 am
Ketih Burnside

Hosted by Keith Burnside, a man with a mellifluous voice and a wardrobe of jaunty velour jackets, smart ties and the occasional pocket kerchief, we would tune in each week to hear details of purloined property - a canteen of cutlery from Newtownabbey, say, a set of heated rollers from Finaghy, a Schiefer fountain pen from the Malone area, that type of thing.

Ofttimes seated in front of a picture of a large telephone dial, suave Keith would ask for our help in locating items (which had helpfully been photographed by their prescient owners).

“Have you seen this ornamental vase?,” he would ask.

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“Perhaps you were at a party and were approached by someone offering to sell it to you?.

“If so, get in touch with police a stolen at Coleraine and you’ll be put through to detectives.”

The telephone number, no more than six digits long, flashed on screen and Keith would move on to the next big case of larceny and lowlifes. Gripping stuff.

One exciting episode featured the ‘mystery of the technical drawing pens’.

Ninety of the specialist drawing instruments had gone missing from an office at Belfast shipyard, we were told.

The pens were made by Faber Castell and cost in the region of £20 each.

“If you’ve been offered one of them from an unusual source get in touch with police,” Keith urged viewers.

Thankfully, after all the terrible tales of small-time crooks and skulduggery, of pilfered electrical goods and masonry bits, the show would end with a good news story and, if we were lucky, perhaps even a little light-hearted moment of punnery from Keith.

In one memorable show, and with his features morphing from earnest to effervescent, Keith let us know that “Police are still trying to find the owner of 34 pairs of men’s Brutus jeans (remember those?)

“If you own them, or know someone who does, why not zip in and sew up the case,” he joked.

Did television get much better than this? I think not!

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