05 Jun 2015

New BBC/OU series goes on the beat with London’s Metropolitan Police

The Met

The Met

A new BBC/OU series aims to provide a unique insight into Britain’s busiest police force, the Met.

A fascinating BBC/OU co-production, The Met: Policing London, which begins on Monday (8 June 2015), is set to offer a unique insight into Britain’s busiest police service as it tackles drug dealing, violence, and life and death all across the capital.

Over 2,000 officers have joined the ranks of the Metropolitan police since 2014, tasked with ensuring the streets of London are safe for its 8 million residents, 24 hours a day. This five-part series explores the highs and lows of one of the toughest jobs in Britain.

The first episode centres on Scotland Yard and its anxiety about renewed racial tension during an inquiry into the death of a young black man, Mark Duggan, which sparked riots nationwide in 2011. Episode two shadows Brixton CID and the policing of Notting Hill Carnival, one of the biggest operations for the force. From abusive drunks to major robberies, episode three observes crime in the capital late at night. Episode four delves deep into drug-related crime as officers from specialist gang unit, Trident, tackle drug dealers in South London. The series concludes with episode five, where we meet a recently-recruited officer completing an intensive training programme.

Academics from The Open University (OU) provided advice and support on the content of the programme. In addition, the OU has developed educational resources to supplement the series. The OU also offers two courses for those interested in a formal qualification: Q48 BA (Hons) Criminology and Psychological studies and Q57 BA (Hons) Social Policy and Criminology.

Senior lecturer in Criminology at The Open University and academic consultant on the series, Dr Louise Westmarland, said:
“The series has had unprecedented access to the Met police service. This has resulted in a candid view, not only of frontline street policing, but also behind-the-scenes operations where the difficult, and often ethically challenging decisions must be made. It will change your opinion of the Met and the entire profession.”

The first episode of The Met: Policing London begins on Monday 8 June 2015 at 9pm on BBC 1 (10.35pm for BBC2 Scotland).

Viewers can continue the learning journey with the OU and access material to accompany the series and/or follow links to our courses. For more information, visit: www.open.edu/openlearn/themet

The Met: Policing London (5 x 60)
Broadcast Commissioner for the BBC – Emma Willis
The Executive Producer for the BBC – Simon Gilchrist
Broadcast Commissioner for The Open University – Dr Caroline Ogilvie
Academic Consultant for The Open University – Dr Louise Westmarland


Notes to Editors:

About The Open University

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Since it began in 1969, the OU has taught more than 1.8 million students and has almost 200,000 current students, including more than 15,000 overseas.
The OU is rated in the top ten of UK universities for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey, since the survey began in 2005. In 2013/14 it had a 91% satisfaction rating. Over 70% of students are in full-time or part-time employment, and four out of five FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff to take OU courses.
In the latest assessment exercise for university research (Research Excellence Framework), nearly three quarters (72%) of The Open University’s research was assessed as 4 or 3 star – the highest ratings available – and awarded to research that is world-leading or internationally excellent. The Open University is unique among UK universities having both an access mission and demonstrating research excellence.

About the BBC/OU
The OU has a 41 year partnership with the BBC and has moved from late-night lectures in the 1970s to co-producing prime-time series such as Frozen Planet, Bang Goes the Theory, Britain’s Great War, I Bought a Rainforest and Business Boomers. Regarded as Britain’s major e-learning institution, the OU is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale. Its vast ‘open content portfolio’ includes free study units on OpenLearn, which received 5.2million unique visitors in 2012/13, and materials on iTunes U, which has recorded more than 66 million downloads.
For further information please visit: www.open.ac.uk

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