By Emma Dooney
Calling all Line of Duty fans – your favorite fictional thriller is about to feel a whole lot more factual.
Bent Coppers: Crossing The Line of Duty investigates the real-life corruption that plagued the British police force and eventually inspired its anti-corruption unit, AC-10. The BBC Two three part series will explore the history of the Metropolitan Police's antics, travelling back to the 1960s and 70s to unearth the roots of its notoriously crooked culture.
Viewers can expect a disturbingly raw insight into the damning track record of British police, with shocking archive footage and insider interviews exposing the rotten underbelly of this covert profession.
Its first episode, The Firm in the Firm, sets the premise for the series by introducing its audience to the extent of the corruption. The power of the 'bad' cops is established as they dodge opposition from their honest colleagues and progress to higher ranks within the field.
The documentary goes on to explore the various ways these crooked cops exploit their authority for their own gain without any regulation or consequences. Detectives are exposed sharing tips with criminals on how to avoid getting caught, while officers are recorded arranging unlawful interventions to deal with theft.
The series points to the futility of a police force composed of such dangerous individuals, highlighting the irony of training people to enforce public order only for them to break the law themselves.
“We didn’t need gangsters, we had policemen,” one officer states in the documentary.
It also explores how this corrupt system affected society on a whole. Officers were known to make unjustifiable arrests to meet a certain quota, often targeting black and working-class people in the process.
A number of investigations by A10 into corruption in the police force are detailed in the documentary. Its largest inquiry came after allegations were made against senior members of the Met's Obscene Publications Squad, the team in charge of enforcing the Obscene Publications Act of 1959.
Dubbed the Dirty Squad, a number of its members were jailed after it emerged they had accepted bribes from the pornographic industry.
The first episode of Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty airs tonight on BBC Two at 9pm.
Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.
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