Line Of Duty ‘sparks surge in people wanting to join the police force’… as real-life AC-12 receives TRIPLE the number of applicants since 2018
It seems Line Of Duty has boosted the number of those applying to join the MET Police’s anti-corruption teams.
The super-popular BBC cop drama – which returned to screens last month for its sixth series – follows AC-12, a fictional department investigating internal police corruption.
And the real-life equivalent – the Directorate of Professional Standards – has seen triple the number of applicants since 2018.
Signing up: It seems Line Of Duty has boosted the number of those applying to join the MET Police’s anti-corruption teams
In 2017, 96 people applied to join the hunt for ‘bent coppers’. The same year saw the fourth season of the show aired on the BBC, with it gaining traction as a fan-favourite.
While season three averaged 5.42 million viewers, season four climbed to 9.55 million.
Season five climbed further, to 12.85. Season six’s premiere episode alone raked in 13.36 million.
Meanwhile the Directorate of Professional Standards received 387 applicants in 2018, with 340 applications made in 2019.
Join us: The super-popular BBC cop drama – which returned to screens last month for its sixth series – follows AC-12, a fictional department investigating internal police corruption
A further 354 people applied following season five.
The stats have been acquired by The Sun, via a Freedom of Information request – who also report that more than 1300 officers were investigated between 2015-2017.
This has dropped slightly since. MailOnline has approached the Met for comment.
Police chief Dame Cressida Dick has been known to slam the show, saying: ‘It’s so far from that. The standards and the professionalism are so high.’
She also slated BBC series Bodyguard, also created by Line Of Duty scribe Jed Mercurio.
On the up: The real-life equivalent – the Directorate of Professional Standards – has seen triple the number of applicants since 2018
In 2019, Dame Cressida said she sat next to Line Of Duty star Vicky McClure at an awards show and was inspired to give the drama a try.
Clearly unimpressed by both programmes, the police chief told the Radio Times: ‘I found myself sitting next to the lead actor [McClure] at an event and I thought she was quite interesting and so I thought, “I’d better watch a bit of this”.
‘But I was absolutely outraged by the level of casual and extreme corruption that was being portrayed as the way the police is in 2018-19.
Not a fan: Met Police chief Dame Cressida Dick has slammed Line Of Duty, saying ‘the standards and the professionalism [in the police] are so high’
‘It’s so far from that. The standards and the professionalism are so high. But I could see that it was good drama.’
But she admitted that she was far more irritated by Bodyguard, which starred Richard Madden as an officer protecting the Home Secretary, played by Keeley Hawes.
‘It drove everybody round here absolutely up the wall!’ Dame Cressida said. ‘I actually did have to switch it off after about 20 minutes – the moment when the Home Secretary made a pass at the Protection Officer was just beyond me, I’m afraid.
‘But both series actually make us look a bit cool and interesting – a net positive, probably. They bring in interest and applications. Even though it’s all completely ludicrous.’
Unimpressed: She admitted that she was far more irritated by Bodyguard, which starred Richard Madden as an officer protecting the Home Secretary, played by Keeley Hawes, who are both pictured above
She also explained at the time that BBC One’s police documentary, The Met: Policing London, had also helped to increase recruitment to the service.
While her number one operational priority is to reduce violence, she explained she also wanted to increase public confidence in the police.
‘I do believe that the more people know, the better it is’, Dame Cressida said of having a documentary made. ‘So we’ve nothing to hide. These are good documentary-makers, and we get lots of interest from people as a consequence of it. People wanting to volunteer with us and get involved.’
Of course, there has since been much outrage in recent weeks aimed at the force, with calls for Dame Cressida to resign, after a vigil for Sarah Everard – a woman murdered by a policeman last month – was met with aggressive handling by the Met police.
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