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Discuss The Changing Representation Of The Police In British Crime Series And Police Dramas.

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Introduction

Discuss The Changing Representation Of The Police In British Crime Series And Police Dramas According to the definition the Oxford School Dictionary, represent means "1) to show a person or thing in a picture or play etc. 2) to symbolize, stand for, 3) be an example or equivalent of something;" whereas representative is defined as "a person or thing that represents another or others". In this essay, I shall relate the definitions to various examples of police shows from the history of the police genre, and how they represent real police to us as an audience. All media texts are constructed to make us think a certain way about any given subject and to convey certain views and opinions. We, as an audience, are expected to suspend our disbelief and believe that the actors are real policemen and women. For example if a police officer on TV breaks the rules we will believe that real officers also do. The Heinemann English Dictionary defines genre as "a style, variety or category especially in art, film and writing". In the Police/Crime genre the conventions and iconography we would expect in a police series/drama include the police uniform, police car and siren. The locations we would expect to find in a police series/drama are a police station, where the main police characters would meet together- as they would meet in a pub or caf´┐Ż if ...read more.

Middle

The criminals that were shown in the series' were now becoming ethnic minorities such as black and Asian people. This was producing conflict between the ethnic minorities and crime drama's producers and writers, who had to create criminals from all cultures and backgrounds. As "Dixon of Dock Green" was one of the first crime shows in Britain, it was the basis of many others. The scene when Dixon talks to his sergeant begins with Dixon addressing the audience; he is direct to the camera, which immediately places us on the side of the police. The style is very different to that of "The Cops" as there is no element of the documentary style as both the actor and viewer are equally conscious of each other's presence. We jump cut to the crime scene were a white middle-aged council member reports a break in. We don't meet the criminal; there is no violence or confrontation. The interest lies in observing how Dixon finds the culprit, which we know he does because at the beginning he speaks retrospectively. The police station is the centre of the community and the people there are committed to serving the local people, which we can tell from Dixon's conversation with the sergeant. The genre is 'safe' as a viewer's sense of security is confirmed - Dixon will restore order in the community. ...read more.

Conclusion

During the interview between Roy and Nicko, the following issues and conflicts are introduced. Everything exists in relation to other things, like opposites. For example black cannot exist without white and good without bad. These cause conflicts. Traditionally in crime shows the conflicts are good vs. bad, police (law) vs. criminals (disorder). As an audience, we are usually on the side of the police. Other conflicts in more modern shows include experience vs. innocence, bending the rules vs. playing by the rules. In the scene Roy's behaviour blurs the boundaries of right and wrong. He believes he is doing the wider community a favour. Although, this is what he thinks, this almost certainly won't change Nicko's behaviour. He will probably have to steal again to replace the drugs Roy took. Roy doesn't do his job to its full extent. Roy's behaviour is vindictive and unprofessional; and has implications for civil liberties. Overall since the beginning of the genre, the police were represented as hardworking, trustworthy - all the things we would expect the police to be. The crimes started off as murders etc, but then became minor - break-ins etc. As time went on, the police became more human, and did not always play by the rules. The crimes were also becoming more serious like murders. They were not the crimes we would want to see, but more realistic and closer to real life. Annabelle Baker 10PC Media Discuss The Changing Representation Of The Police In British Crime Series And Police Dramas ...read more.

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