'Drowning in here in his bloody sea' : exploring TV cop drama's representations of the impact of stress in modern policing

Cummins, ID ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7814-3835 and King, M 2015, ''Drowning in here in his bloody sea' : exploring TV cop drama's representations of the impact of stress in modern policing' , Policing and Society, 27 (8) , pp. 832-846.

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The Criminal Justice System is a part of society that is both familiar and hidden. It is familiar in that a large part of daily news and television drama is devoted to it (Carrabine, 2008; Jewkes, 2011). It is hidden in the sense that the majority of the population have little, if any, direct contact with the Criminal Justice System, meaning that the media may be a major force in shaping their views on crime and policing (Carrabine, 2008). As Reiner (2000) notes, the debate about the relationship between the media, policing, and crime has been a key feature of wider societal concerns about crime since the establishment of the modern police force. He outlines the recurring themes in post-war debates in this field. For Conservatives there has been an ongoing concern that the media is criminongenic, as it serves to undermine traditional institutions, including the police. From the viewpoint of radical criminology, the impact of the media is two-fold: it exaggerates legitimate concerns about crime and emphasises the bureaucratic and other restrictions under which the police operate (Reiner, 2000). This is seen as undermining due process and legitimatising what can be termed a ‘maverick’ approach to policing. An early example of this can be seen in Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry movies (Siegel, 1971) where Harry Callaghan acts as a one-man law enforcement system outside of the formal legal process, a process portrayed as corrupt, inefficient, and concerned with offenders’ rights rather than protecting victims. From a policing perspective, Reiner (2000) argues that film and TV drama creates a simplistic narrative of crime solving that is almost completely divorced from the reality of modern police work, a finding consistent with more recent work by Cummins et al., (2014).

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Journal or Publication Title: Policing and Society
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1043-9463
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: ID Cummins
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2016 12:53
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 20:38
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/38760

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