Blog: Captioning Police Ten 7 to help catch ‘gutless thieving scumbags’

Blog, Captioning 13 Dec 2017

Police Ten 7 is celebrating 15 years on our screens, and for fans of the series, it’s appointment viewing to revel in the misfortunes of brainless criminals and laugh at foolish drunken antics, some of which elicit unforgettable dry responses from police officers dealing with the troublemakers.  Tonight we’ll be captioning the second of two one-hour specials looking back at some of the unforgettable moments over the past 15 years.

As we reminisce about some of the programme highlights, one which stands out is the sage advice of an officer to ‘always blow on the pie. Safer communities together, OK.'  The catchphrase went viral, becoming part of Kiwi popular culture; a part which Deaf and hard of hearing viewers would not be party to without captions making this long-running series accessible.

Police Ten 7 is a programme we caption every week.  It’s very topical and features up-to-the-minute information and is therefore edited together fairly close to transmission on TVNZ 2.  To give us more time to prepare the captions, the production company provides us with a script and a basic cut of the episode the day before it goes to air, and then we receive the final copy of the programme a couple of hours before it plays on TVNZ 2.  Time is of the essence when creating the captions, but this needs to be balanced with precise and careful work to reflect exactly what is being said. If names of victims and those with name suppression have their names bleeped out, then the captions can’t let those names slip through.   The same goes for swear words – if a swear word has been masked with a bleep, the captions need to follow suit.

Having had a lot of practice at captioning Police Ten 7, we’ve been able to build up an extensive catalogue of officer names and police codes, call signs and abbreviations to ensure what we’re typing is as accurate as possible.

When we’re doing the captions, we’re aware the serious side of Police Ten 7 can’t be overlooked. Each week wanted faces are shown to the nation and serious unsolved crime is highlighted, with a call for the public to assist with the cases.  It’s integral that caption users equally have the opportunity to be made aware of crime situations in our communities and have the chance to contribute vital information in the hope cases can be solved. 

Hundreds of arrests have been made as a result of the series over the years, and we’d like to congratulate Police Ten 7 as they mark their 15th birthday.

Virginia, Able Team Leader

Police Ten 7 Pie
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