A TOP North East police officer is back on the case of reality TV fugitives as they try to escape an island.

Channel Four show Hunted returned to screens last night.

Contestants are trying to outrun an elite team of hunters for 23 days in a bid to win a share of £100,000.

The operation is being led by Assistant Chief Constable of Cleveland Police, Lisa Theaker, who appeared on the celebrity version of the show earlier this year.

Read more: Hunted 2022: Fugitives must first escape an island - is this the toughest start yet?

Who is Lisa Theaker? 

The Northern Echo: Cleveland Police's Lisa Theaker on Hunted CREDIT: Channel 4 Cleveland Police's Lisa Theaker on Hunted CREDIT: Channel 4

The Teessider, who is from Redcar, joined Cleveland Police in January 2019 and has been acting chief constable since April last year.

Her previous roles have included being head of protecting vulnerable people and strategic advisor on complex cases as well as strategic firearms commander.

She has been in policing since she was 20 and has a varied career, with expertise in firearms and homicide. 

Prior to joining Cleveland, she was a detective superintendent and head of the homicide and major enquiry team at Northumbria Police.

Read more: Two arrests over attempted kidnap at Redcar car boot sale

She was a senior investigating officer (SIO) for eight years investigating and is also a kidnap and extortion SIO and senior identification manager (SIM) for disaster victim identification (DVI).

Lisa was promoted to chief superintendent in August 2019 and was then appointed as chief of staff.

The Northern Echo:

She has previously led campaigns to try and recruit more female officers

This year’s Hunted contestants have to make their escape from the Isle of Wight.

They will be watched by the hunter helicopter, which is streaming live video direct to HQ.

The fugitives include an ex-military veteran, serving police officer and mother of two, a couple who are experienced urban explorers, two profoundly deaf young men in the prime of their life, two sisters, and a mother of four who is hoping to evade detection with her grown-up son.

In publicity for the Channel Four show, a spokesperson said: “On the run across the length and breadth of the UK these fugitives will be looking over their shoulders, ever fearful that the hunters have picked up their trail.

“And nervous they should be as leading the investigation is Assistant Chief Constable of Cleveland Police, Lisa Theaker. Lisa has led many complex homicide investigations. Now she oversees a handpicked team of top police and military personnel, armed with the powers of the state, which includes live CCTV, ANPR, GPS positioning, drones, tracker dogs, mobile phone monitoring and publicity campaigns.

The Northern Echo: Lisa Theaker on Hunted CREDIT: Channel 4Lisa Theaker on Hunted CREDIT: Channel 4

“There is no doubt that Lisa will be looking for a clean sweep. Have these eleven fugitives got what it takes to stay off her radar, can they survive the pressure and paranoia of being on the run and make it to the end to claim their share of the £100,000 prize?”

Hunted returned at 9pm on Sunday, May 22 and returns at the same time on Monday, May 23. It will then continue every Sunday night. 

You can watch live on Channel 4 or catch up using the All 4 service.

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