With millions of viewers eagerly awaiting the finale of Line of Duty, experts are aiming to shed light on the real world of policing.
There’s a lot of misunderstanding at times about the role of the police and what they do. The way that the police are represented in the media is sometimes a dangerous or divisive force and representations even go through to a sinister and corrupted organisation, Line of Duty style.
James Treadwell, Professor of Criminology
Popular podcast Crime Tapes first launched in 2019 bringing together the real-world experience and research expertise of Staffordshire University academics to dissect controversial crimes.
Hosted by Professor of Criminology James Treadwell, the second series follows an explosion in true crime books, TV shows and films and podcasts during the pandemic and features experts from across Staffordshire University’s School of Law, Policing and Forensics.
James said: “We were really pleased with the success of the first series which had listeners tune in from more than 40 countries around the world. There’s a lot of misunderstanding at times about the role of the police and what they do. The way that the police are represented in the media is sometimes a dangerous or divisive force and representations even go through to a sinister and corrupted organisation, Line of Duty style. But, for the majority of the public, they won’t actually have had direct contact with the police.”
From policing prisons to homicide investigations, the new series busts myths about public perceptions of the police and their work – which are often influenced by what is seen in the media.
The first episode explores police legitimacy with Policing Lecturer Leanne Savigar-Shaw and examines how high-profile cases, including the deaths of George Floyd and Mark Duggan, have defined debates around police powers and police treatment.
Leanne explained: “Broadly the term ‘police legitimacy’ is a sense that the police are doing the right thing and are supported by the public. If the public sees the police as legitimate and that they treat the public fairly, then we are more likely to obey the law.
“Our perceptions of the police and the way that we think about the police very often does come through what we hear from other people, what we see in the news, what we see on TV. It is not only what the police have done with us, it is also how they treat and manage other people and also how that is represented.”
Experts from Staffordshire University’s Institute of Policing have also been examining how Line of Duty’s AC-12 unit compares to real life. In an article published on The Conversation, former police officers Jim Holyoak and Dr Sarah Jane Fox share insider knowledge of how corruption is actually dealt with within UK police forces and whether their years of experience have helped them to crack who ‘H’ actually is.
They write: “As experts in anti-corruption, as well as former police officers and Head of Professional Standards and the Anti-Corruption Unit within Leicestershire Police, we know that it’s not the most accurate picture of what it’s really like clamping down on corruption and weeding out “bent coppers”.
“Unlike AC-12, there are no gun-toting, armed officers embedded within PSDs and most investigations don’t concern police officer involvement in organised crime groups.”
Crime Tapes is available to stream on a range of platforms including Buzzsprout, Apple Podcasts and Spotify with a new episode released each month. – listen now.
Read the full article Line of Duty: two ex-anti-corruption officers on how the police actually catch ‘bent coppers’