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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 May, 2004, 16:30 GMT 17:30 UK
Documentary pulled over race fear
Bradford race riots
Police feared the show would spark riots, as seen in Bradford in 2001
Channel 4 has pulled a documentary about social workers in Bradford from its schedule after police warned it could increase racial tension.

Due to be broadcast on Thursday, Edge of the City followed social workers and clients, including young white girls who had been abused by Asian men.

West Yorkshire Police feared it would increase community tension in Bradford ahead of local and European elections.

The channel said it would show the "important" programme at a later date.


Filmed over the course of a year with the co-operation of Bradford Social Services, Edge of the City focused on "the darker side of urban life in Britain".

"These are the neighbours we don't want to know whose problems we don't want to see," read the show's publicity.

As well as following a young offender, a "fiercely independent" elderly man and a disabled couple, the documentary examined the area of child abuse known as "grooming".

In these exceptional circumstances... Channel 4 as a responsible broadcaster has agreed to the police's request to postpone the broadcast
Channel 4 statement
It reported that white girls as young as 11 were being sexually abused by Asian men who encouraged their dependency on drugs over a period of time.

In July 2001 Bradford was the scene of some of the worst race riots Britain has seen for 20 years.

West Yorkshire Police said 326 officers were injured during the disturbances, leading to two stabbings, 219 arrests and an estimated 27m worth of damage.

'Public disorder'

Channel 4 said police feared the new documentary "would increase community tensions in Bradford" ahead of elections on 10 June, "with the risk that it would lead to public disorder".

"In these exceptional circumstances, and based on the police's risk assessment on the ground, Channel 4 as a responsible broadcaster has agreed to the police's request to postpone the broadcast until a later date," the channel said in a statement.

"Channel 4 believes Edge of the City is an important, well-researched and produced documentary film.

"It is in the public interest that this film be shown and we will be broadcasting it later in the year."

The documentary was replaced on Thursday with a repeated episode of Faking It.

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