Counter-terrorism police using BBC’s Bodyguard to boost recruitment

The police have been riding the wave of the drama’s popularity with job ads on Twitter

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 28/08/2018 - Programme Name: Bodyguard - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. Ep 3) - Picture Shows: *STRICTLY NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 00:01HRS, TUESDAY 28TH AUGUST, 2018* David Budd (RICHARD MADDEN), Julia Montague (KEELEY HAWES) - (C) World Productions - Photographer: Sophie Mutevelian

A whopping ten million people have been tuning into BBC1’s Bodyguard each Sunday – and counter-terrorism police are not passing up the chance to use the show’s popularity as an opportunity to advertise jobs in the force.

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The recruitment drive on Twitter aims to encourage viewers inspired by Police Sergeant David Budd, played by Richard Madden, to apply for roles in anti-terrorism units.

Using the drama’s hashtag while its nail-biting extended finale aired from 9pm on Sunday night, the Counter Terrorism Policing UK account tweeted: “Are you interested in joining Counter Terrorism Policing? Hear from some real-life officers and find out more about their roles. #Bodyguard”

It’s worth noting that the jobs advertised do not necessarily put employees in the same sorts of life-threatening situations as Madden’s character, as the vacancies are for more desk-based roles including “digital specialist” and “business analyst”.

Several of the job descriptions do say, however, that “if the worst happens and an attack occurs, you’ll be helping to bring the perpetrators to justice”.

Given the modern rise of terror plots devised online, the recruitment drive aims to attract tech-savvy staff who can help to thwart attacks in the UK.

Senior national co-ordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, Dean Haydon, told The Times: “If we’re capturing the imagination of people who might not have considered a career in policing, that’s a great step forward.

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“Of course we need more detectives and more armed officers, similar to those in the programme. But just as important are those with the technical knowledge and skills to exploit terrorists’ digital devices for crucial evidence gathering.”