There are two occasions in the episode. One is where a jewel robber gets burned in the face by an oxyacetylene torch. One of his companions comments that they might as well finish the job, but they kindly dump what's left of him outside a hospital. The other occasion is where the escaped convict throws boiling water over his wife who has been cheating on him while he has been in prison, and whom he has caught in flagrante delicto.
Personally I feel the violence in this episode isn't out of what can be expected for a show designed to depict the criminal underworld, but of course that is only a personal opinion. And this episode shows the working of a gang of jewel thieves rather well.
What I do think is shocking is the way Hackett reveals his wife's whereabouts to the criminal they enlist to help with their enquiries, and which leads to him taking the revenge on her described above. The police give him an extra ten weeks' remission and this is the result. This is far worse in my opinion than any of the dodgy things done by police in The Sweeney. Hackett turns a blind eye when his colleague beats the boiling water man up. Hackett rightly gets a dressing down for his actions in this case.
This episode of Target is vulnerable to my personal criticism that shows of the sixties and seventies use a lot of the same actors so that you end up wondering who the actors are, rather than following the show. Ron Pember (who was good at playing baddies), for example, plays the released prisoner with the cheating wife. Christopher Benjamin, who payed J J Hooter in the Avengers episode How to Succeed at Murder, plays a chap who owns a string of jewellery shops. I also think that unless you happen to like this sort of show, Target will not appeal to you: the plot, such as it is, is a bit thin. The episode is rather a series of scenes depicting the workings of the force and frankly the connection between them can be difficult to see.
If you particularly want a moral to take home from this episode it is that there is no honour among thieves. Personally I'd already sussed that one - I'm just surprised Hackett didn't!
Illustration courtesy of IMDB.