The fascinating real life story behind Line of Duty uncovered in documentary Bent Coppers: Crossing The Line

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There’s no doubt you’re already hooked to the captivating twists and turns of BBC One’s hugely popular and incredibly tense drama, Line of Duty.

Tonight the shocking real-life story that’s said to have inspired the show’s anti-corruption unit, AC-12, played by Adrian Dunbar, Martin Compston and Vicky McClure is explored.

BBC Two’s new documentary Bent Coppers: Crossing The Line lifts the lid on police corruption in London’s Soho in the 1960s, 70s and 80s that led to the formation of the first ever real-life police anti-corruption unit, A10.

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The three part series, which debuted on our screens tonight, features insider interviews and never before seen archive footage and recordings, as it pulls back the veil on the lawless underworld of criminal cops.

Episode one is called ‘A Firm in a Firm’ and it follows the work of a network of officers that “went all the way to the top.”

This includes secret meetings with known and established criminals, as well as bribery, extortion, and allegations they tipped them off on how to store their stolen goods.

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The show also features tell-all interviews from those on the receiving end of the dodgy cops, including one man who was wrongly arrested and fitted up for a crime he didn’t commit.

Meanwhile, it charts the work of those honest coppers that were determined to catch the bad apples in their force and expose their criminality.

This eventually led to a huge breakthrough and, in 1972 when Robert Mark became Commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police force, he made it his mission to put a stop to police corruption for good.

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Explaining he wanted a unit that “catches more criminals than it employs,” Mark put a plan into action by setting up Britain’s first specialist anti-corruption police unit, A10.

But he and his dedicated team had their work cut out before 500 serving police officers were eventually either prosecuted, let go or forced to hand in their resignation.

The episodes will also delve into the work of Operation Countryman – the biggest internal investigation into police corruption that the UK had ever seen.

And across the three hours of fascinating footage, viewers will be gripped to the often jaw dropping real-life story that wouldn’t look out of place as a plot line in Line of Duty.

However, unlike an episode of the hit BBC One thriller, viewers will get all the answers to their burning questions and see exactly what happened to those who knowingly broke the law.

Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line airs tonight at 9pm on BBC Two

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