A STAGGERING 1,000 Met officers are currently suspended for alleged wrongdoing. And somehow it’s worse when you compare them with the respected coppers you grew up with, be they real or fictional.
The Sweeney: If confronted by police malpractice, Jack Regan and George Carter would have a mournful session on the whisky about nicking one of their own. Then they’d prove they were the good guys by kicking the miscreant’s head in.
Modern Met officer: Would close ranks to protect the dodgiest fellow officers, seeing nothing untoward about them having the nickname ‘Dave The Perv’.
The policeman who came to your primary school: Obviously he could secretly have been bent as f**k, but it’s unlikely he was selling confiscated cocaine between investigating petty vandalism and giving Cycling Proficiency lessons.
Modern police officer: Would massively overreact to you forgetting to do a left-turn hand signal on a quiet road, forcing you to dismount with ASP baton drawn, then act like Judge Dredd in front of a crying seven-year-old.
Dixon of Dock Green: Almost certainly before your time, but you get the gist, and it wasn’t Dirty Harry. The epitome of the firm-but-fair, respectable, strait-laced copper.
Modern police officer: That wanker in a club flashing his police ID to impress women, who you later see trying to throw his weight around in a kebab shop like a knob.
Gene Hunt: Or ‘the postmodern Jack Regan’. Sexist, but fundamentally a good guy, and never afraid to mix it up with the toughest criminals, including pickaxe-handle-wielding versions of the Great Train Robbers, in a postmodern reality-meets-fiction heist Baudrillard would have loved.
Modern Met officer: Never afraid to mix it up with the toughest lightly-built student girls armed with a candle.
Jim Bergerac: All-round decent 80s bloke who overcame his alcoholic demons and remained friendly with his ex-wife Deborah while romancing new love Susan (popular Doctor Who assistant Louise Jameson).
Modern Met officer: Would most likely stalk Susan as well as Deborah and hassle them for sex, requiring another police officer to protect them from the first one, who would then try it on with them as well.
Brian Paddick: Pioneering gay police officer famous in the early 2000s for stopping the police wasting their time on minor drug crimes, who later became a champion of diversity in the Met.
Modern Met officer: Probably not that fussed about minor drug arrests either, but would discuss it on WhatsApp using an array of racial epithets for black teenagers no one has heard since the 1970s. Would also use terms like ‘poof’ and ‘shirt-lifter’ so many times an inanimate Samsung would get tired of the homophobia.