A show is running on the BBC called ‘Traffic Cops’. It is filmed in North Yorkshire, the county where I grew up. It follows real cops doing their job. They have to deal with tough situations and are professional.
However, there were two things I did not like at all.
The cops talk about protecting people from the ‘bad guys’ (burglary, drugs etc). Looking in the eyes of the bad guys it seemed to me they were quite troubled. I wondered about their childhoods, how their parents were, how life was in their home country. I wondered what had made them become bad guys. Maybe, in fact, they are not bad, maybe they are troubled, tormented. Somehow you could even be a bad guy.
To make it worse for these people, the BBC filmed them as they were being arrested and in some cases in distress. Of course these people need to be brought to justice, and the police do a good job (I wouldn’t fancy being a cop at 2am in a dodgy area). Do these suspects really need to be filmed?
Labelling people bad isn’t helpful, certainly not until we get an understanding of how they got to where they are.