Colbran, M. (2014) “Police perceptions of representations of crime and policing in television drama” in Marinescu, V., Branea, S. and Mitu, B. (eds) Contemporary Television Series: Narrative Structures and Audience Perceptions, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 1-16
In this book chapter, I explore whether or not police officers perceive that representations of their work in police procedurals such as The Bill have any impact on their interaction with the public and on public support for the organisation. I argue that officers do believe that police shows have an impact on their interaction with the public, and suggest that these shows often frame the public’s expectations of how the police will treat them. While officers suggested that inaccurate depictions of police procedure, such as overly aggressive interview scenes, might prevent witnesses from coming forward, I also suggest that, conversely, some officers believed police procedurals to be too accurate on occasion, particularly in terms of crime detection, and feared that too many ‘trade secrets’ were being given away to offenders.