Do TV programmes like Line of Duty help or hinder the police?

Danger on the street. Blue flasher on the police car at night.
Are cop shows anywhere near the reality of the world of policing? (Picture: Getty)

From Ironside to Luther and Z Cars to Life on Mars, police dramas are all over our TV screens.

The final episode of hit series Line of Duty was no different, attracting nine million viewers earlier this month, giving it the biggest overnight audience of 2019 so far.

But are cop shows more of a hindrance than a help when it comes to helping people understand how policing works?

Speaking on the latest episode of Yahoo UK’s podcast Britain Is a Nation Of..., TV presenter and former detective Rav Wilding says police dramas are pretty far from the real thing.

Listen to the full episode of Britain is a Nation of... below

“The cop shows that I have seen in general are entertaining but they’re nothing like reality - nothing like it whatsoever,” said the Crimewatch presenter.

“When you look at these TV shows there will be a team of detectives dealing with one crime.

“But when I was a detective I would have 35 crimes of my own that I’m dealing with as well as anything else that comes in and on top of that you’d have prisoners as well.”

With that kind of workload, there’s often no time to deal with it all, says Wilding - something cop shows don’t really convey.

Perhaps fuelled by our love for crime drama, a new survey carried out by Yahoo News UK and YouGov revealed that 1 in 5 Brits often worry about falling victim to violent crime.

19% of people also reported they often worry about their home being broken into.

This is despite just 4.7% of the population being affected by violent crime each year in the UK.

This survey was made possible by YouGov’s panel of 6 million respondents. Join the trend and share your opinions with the world today.