Sounds right up your street Ryan (Picture: BBC/World Productions/Steffan Hill)
A shocking story told in new BBC documentary Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty has revealed how a petty criminal helped to expose corrupt police officers by secretly recording their conversations.
All the way back in 1969, long before crime drama Line of Duty was a staple of British TV, south London-based petty criminal Michael Perry found himself in a tricky situation with the police.
Michael had wound up getting caught in a web with a police officer called John Symonds, who was extorting him for money, the documentary explained.
It reached a point with Michael’s relationship with John that he decided that he’d had enough with being taken advantage of.
And so, Michael decided to tip off reporters working for The Times newspaper in a bid to uncover the corruption.
In moments reminiscent of the BBC procedural, journalists for The Times had a recording device placed inside Michael’s car, which taped conversations he shared with John.
Ted Hastings would have none of it (Picture: BBC/World Productions/Steffan Hill)
In one of the recordings shared in the documentary, a police officer can be heard saying: ‘Cause we got more villains in our game than you’ve got in yours, you know.’ Ryan Pilkington, anyone?
In addition to John, Michael also ended up getting into cahoots with two more police officers at Scotland Yard by the names of Bernard Robson and Gordon Harris.
Realising that Michael could prove useful to them, whether that be through the exchanging of information or money, the pair had him place his hand on a soft substance, which he believed was the explosive substance gelignite, the BBC film detailed.
By doing this, this meant that they could use his fingerprints on the gelignite if they needed him to pay them bribe money or dish out details on other criminals for them to snare.
Will Ryan’s control of Jo be revealed in Line of Duty? (Picture: BBC/World Productions/Steffan Hill)
John continued to take money from Michael, even offering him advice on how to deal with Bernard and Gordon during their covert car conversations.
But when The Times published their investigation on November 29 1969, a massive can of worms was opened.
Bernard and Gordon ended up going to prison. However, John managed to avoid going on trial with the two officers, as there was reportedly a fear that he was going to reveal even more corrupt police officers within the system.
While taking part in an interview in 1998, John revealed that he wrote down the names of over 100 corrupt police officers in preparation for such a scenario.
Rather than also going to jail, John was given money to go abroad, slipping through the fingers of justice.
However, he eventually received a two-year sentence in 1981 after spending nine years in hiding.
Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
Credit: Original article published here.