HIT police drama Line of Duty has sparked a boom in people wanting to take on “bent coppers”.
The number applying to become anti-corruption officers tripled in the past three years.
The Directorate of Professional Standards — the Met Police’s equivalent of AC-12 — had 387 applicants in 2018, up from 96 the year before.
In 2017, Line of Duty — starring Adrian Dunbar, Martin Compston and Vicky McClure — moved from BBC Two to BBC One, with viewers doubling to 9.55million.
According to a Freedom of Information request by The Sun, the momentum was maintained as 340 applications were made in 2019.
And in the year to last May, after the fifth series aired, a further 354 people tried to join the unit.
Figures also show police officers had been behaving themselves as Line of Duty’s popularity increased.
More than 1,300 cops had been investigated for dodgy practices in 2015/16 and 2016/17.
But in 2017/18, after series four aired, 916 were probed and in 2019/20 it was 474.
Two years ago, Met Police chief Dame Cressida Dick said she was “outraged” at the show’s portrayal of corruption.
She insisted: “It’s so far from that. The standards and the professionalism are so high.”
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