Line Of Duty ‘sparks surge in people wanting to join real-life AC-12’

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 – according to The Sun.

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

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

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

On the up: The real-life equivalent - the Directorate of Professional Standards - has seen triple the number of applicants since 2018

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'

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'

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

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

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.   

LINE OF DUTY SEASON SIX: WHAT ARE THE MAIN FAN THEORIES?

Season six of Line Of Duty has left fans with more questions than answers, with viewers flocking to Twitter to question what exactly is DCI Jo Davidson is up to, whether Kate Fleming has really left AC-12 and who is H?

Here, MailOnline examines some of the most prominent fan theories  

Kate Fleming HASN’T left AC-12 and is working undercover   

One of the most shocking discoveries was AC-12’s Kate is now working with a new team- with some fans suggesting she could even be the infamous H.

While chatting to her new gaffer DCI Davidson, Kate said: ‘I got fed upon nicking coppers, I’d rather go after the psycho who murdered Gail [Vella].’

But despite seeming confident in her new role, some viewers were left wondering if all was at it seems and theorised that Kate could still be undercover for AC-12.

Even after she tipped off Davidson and incurred the wrath of Ted Hastings, fans have continued to speculate that she is so deep undercover that even Hastings is having to keep her true agenda secret.  

Kate Fleming HASN'T left AC-12 and is working undercover: Is it true? The jury is still out on this one

Kate Fleming HASN'T left AC-12 and is working undercover: Is it true? The jury is still out on this one

Kate Fleming HASN’T left AC-12 and is working undercover: Is it true? The jury is still out on this one 

DCI Jo Davidson is being blackmailed by an Organised Crime Group  

Jo has already survived a grilling from AC-12’s top team and appeared to clear her name when it was ex-girlfriend PS Farida Jatri who seemed to have taken part in corruption.

However, Jo was seen hitching a ride with known bent copper Ryan Pilkington and taken to collect a burner phone, making her look suspicious once more.

Fans, however, are convinced the DCI is being blackmailed by an OCG, following her emotional outburst when she was summoned to pick up a new burner.

DCI Jo Davidson is being blackmailed by an Organised Crime Group: Is it true? After her car park outburst it seems increasingly likely

DCI Jo Davidson is being blackmailed by an Organised Crime Group: Is it true? After her car park outburst it seems increasingly likely

DCI Jo Davidson is being blackmailed by an Organised Crime Group: Is it true? After her car park outburst it seems increasingly likely

DCI Jo Davidson’s mother is Anne-Marie McGillis

Fans speculated over who Jo’s mother could be after she was seen in a photograph in the first episode.

Many theorised her mother has something to do with season five character John Corbett’s [Stephen Graham] mother Anne-Marie McGillis, who was killed by an Irish Republican paramilitary group sometime after 1989.

DCI Jo Davidson's mother is Anne-Marie McGillis: Is it true? There simply isn't enough evidence yet to determine on way or the other

DCI Jo Davidson's mother is Anne-Marie McGillis: Is it true? There simply isn't enough evidence yet to determine on way or the other

DCI Jo Davidson’s mother is Anne-Marie McGillis: Is it true? There simply isn’t enough evidence yet to determine on way or the other  

Gail Vella is still alive

Although season six has centered around the murder of journalist Gail Vella, one obscure theory is that she is in fact still alive.  

Craig Parkinson, who played Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan in the show, said on BBC Sounds podcast Obsessed with Line of Duty: ‘Somebody is in that flat and there’s some connection with Gail Vella, the investigative journalist.

‘You don’t cast someone like Andi Osho and then just have her as little magazine prints and stick them up on a kitchen wall.’

Sarah Millican – who also appeared on the podcast – went on to suggest Vella may have been a former lover of DCI Davidson’s.

Gail Vella is still alive: Is it true? It seems unlikely that the scale of police corruption is so huge that they could fake a murder victim

Gail Vella is still alive: Is it true? It seems unlikely that the scale of police corruption is so huge that they could fake a murder victim

Gail Vella is still alive: Is it true? It seems unlikely that the scale of police corruption is so huge that they could fake a murder victim

DC Chloe Bishop is Tony Gates’ daughter

Bishop is one of AC-12’s newest recruits, and as Gates and his wife Jools had two daughters, Natalie and Chloe, viewers have suggested their shared first name ‘can’t be a coincidence’.

Gates’ daughter was last seen in season one in 2012, which means she’d be roughly the same age as Bishop is now.

Fans have suggested that Bishop either took her mother’s maiden name or the name of a step-father, so that her true identity remains a secret – for now.

Gates died at the end of the first season when he walked into a busy road after getting a confession from gang leader Tommy Hunter, who had been blackmailing the police officer into covering up their criminal activity.

DC Chloe Bishop is Tony Gates' daughter: Is it true? The dates and facts line up, but there still isn't enough to write it off as a coincidence just yet

DC Chloe Bishop is Tony Gates' daughter: Is it true? The dates and facts line up, but there still isn't enough to write it off as a coincidence just yet

DC Chloe Bishop is Tony Gates’ daughter: Is it true? The dates and facts line up, but there still isn’t enough to write it off as a coincidence just yet 

Bent copper Ryan Pilkington is actually a honest policeman 

Ryan first appeared in the show’s first season as a teenage foul-mouthed messenger for the criminal gang working with bent copper DCI Gates. 

His escapades on the show have taken an even darker turn in past seasons, as he attempted to cut DS Arnott’s fingers off with bolt cutters, and also killed undercover cop DS Corbett.

However, the show creator’s Jed Mercurio teased the possibility that Ryan has ‘turned a new leaf’ and isn’t a spy in the Central Police, despite what fans may think of his criminal past. 

Jed claimed: ‘Now that Ryan’s a police officer, viewers will have to wait and see if he has turned over a new leaf or if he remains a dangerous inside man for organised crime.’ 

Bent copper Ryan Pilkington is actually a honest policeman: Is it true? Considering the only person who seems to be spreading this is the creator, it would be a great twist

Bent copper Ryan Pilkington is actually a honest policeman: Is it true? Considering the only person who seems to be spreading this is the creator, it would be a great twist

 Bent copper Ryan Pilkington is actually a honest policeman: Is it true? Considering the only person who seems to be spreading this is the creator, it would be a great twist

 

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