New Crime Tapes podcast busts myths about policing

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With millions of viewers eagerly awaiting the finale of BBC drama Line of Duty this weekend, experts from Staffordshire University’s School of Law, Policing and Forensics are aiming to shed light on the real world of policing.

Popular podcast Crime Tapes first launched in 2019 bringing together the real-world experience and research expertise of Staffordshire University academics to dissect controversial crimes.

Hosted by Professor of Criminology James Treadwell, the second series follows an explosion in true crime books, TV shows and films and podcasts during the pandemic.

James said: “We were really pleased with the success of the first series which had listeners tune in from more than 40 countries around the world. There’s a lot of misunderstanding at times about the role of the police and what they do. The way that the police are represented in the media is sometimes a dangerous or divisive force and representations even go through to a sinister and corrupted organisation, Line of Duty style. But, for the majority of the public, they won’t actually have had direct contact with the police.”

From policing prisons to homicide investigations, the new series busts myths about public perceptions of the police and their work – which are often influenced by what is seen in the media.

The first episode explores police legitimacy with Policing Lecturer Leanne Savigar-Shaw and examines how high-profile cases, including the deaths of George Floyd and Mark Duggan, have defined debates around police powers and police treatment.

Leanne explained: “Broadly the term ‘police legitimacy’ is a sense that the police are doing the right thing and are supported by the public. If the public sees the police as legitimate and that they treat the public fairly, then we are more likely to obey the law.

“Our perceptions of the police and the way that we think about the police very often does come through what we hear from other people, what we see in the news, what we see on TV. It is not only what the police have done with us, it is also how they treat and manage other people and also how that is represented.”

Crime Tapes is available to stream on a range of platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify with a new episode released each month – listen now.

Amy Platts

Media Communications Officer

t: 01782 292702

m: 07799 341911


Staffordshire University is the Connected University; connected to the needs of students, academic partners, business and society. Our main city campus in Stoke-on-Trent features excellent learning and teaching facilities and good transport links. We have specialist Centres of Excellence in Healthcare Education at Stafford and Shrewsbury.  

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We were shortlisted for University of the Year at the THE Awards 2020 and were named ‘Midlands University of the Year’ at the Midlands Business Awards 2020. 
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