TV & Movies

Manhunt viewers slam ITV for airing 'insensitive van advert' during episode about white van man killer Levi Bellfield

People at home saw police step up surveillance of a white van man – who turned out to be Bellfield – in the second episode of the series.

The van was first seen in the episode in creepy CCTV footage after the killing of French student Amélie Delagrange.

Sick Bellfield later harassed young girls that he followed in his van, and offered them lifts home.

Later, police visited a white van yard where they hoped to identify his vehicle.

With so much of the episode focused on the police investigation around Bellfield's fan, people watching the intense drama were shocked that the decision was made to promote the vehicle during the ad break.

One person said: "Anyone else think it’s a bit sick that #Vauxhall place a advert for a van at the first break for #Manhunt?"

Another wrote: "Can’t believe they stuck an advert for a van on the break of this particular episode of #Manhunt"

And a third added: "Whoops! The police in #Manhunt trying to find the serial killer using a courier van – and what comes up in the ad break? Yup! an ad for vans!"

The drama is based on the true story of a police investigation in South West London between 2004 – 2006.

The second episode saw DCI Colin Sutton tracking twisted killer Bellfield for the first time.

Detectives finally came across Bellfield through a witness statement made following a past crime.

Sutton, played by Martin Clunes in the dramatisation, read a description of Bellfield out loud and said: "Levi likes to move around and has several children by different women. He's employed as a bouncer and a wheel clamper.

"Currently on bail for GBH and the weapon used in the attack was a hammer."

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