Is 'Line Of Duty' Based On A True Story? Series 5 Follows Some Real-Life Police Procedures

BBC/World Productions/Aiden Monaghan

After a two-year break, the BBC police drama Line of Duty is finally back. The long-awaited fifth series makes its debut on Sunday, March 31, and will see AC-12 delve further into police corruption after uncovering a network of dodgy police officers in season four. The show's main cast will reprise their roles as officers of the anti-corruption unit. But is Line of Duty based on a true story?

As the Telegraph reported in 2017, Line of Duty is a fictional TV series, and the show "does not... lift directly from real cases." I have reached out to the BBC for comment on if that is also the case for series five and will update you right away once any new information becomes available. According to the Express, AC-12 is a fictional unit, however there are several real anti-corruption police units based around the UK. A real-life equivalent to Line of Duty's AC-12 unit can be found within the London Metropolitan Police force, which has its very own anti-corruption department known as the Directorate of Professional Standards (DOS). This particular unit was previously known as the "ghost squad" and officially called A10, before receiving a name-change to CIB1, and later CIB2.

Despite this clearly fictional basis, as The Sun reports, series three convinced many viewers that the show was a true story after an episode featured Jimmy Savile, and a slide at the end of the series reported that one character was "currently serving a ten-year sentence in HMP Blackthorn." Show-creator, Jed Mercurio, has revealed that he works alongside a team of advisers when creating the BBC series, and in an interview with the Radio Times, he revealed that Line of Duty tries to stay "as close to the right procedures as possible."


Speaking to the publication, Mercurio said:

"I think it’s important to be as close to the right procedures as possible. The starting point is with our advisers and I always get excited if we can use something I haven’t seen in any other series."

As reported by Digital Spy, Adrian Dunbar, Vicky McClure, and Martin Compston will all return to their leading roles as Supt. Ted Hastings, DS Kate Fleming, and DS Steve Arnott, respectively. Also confirmed to be returning is Maya Sondhi as PC Maneet Bindra — who previously managed to get away with leaking confidential AC-12 files, and Line of Duty creator Mercurio has promised to address the fate of Sondhi's character. Speaking to Digital Spy, he said:

"I think that we have to address (Maneet's fate) in the future. Quite how we'll do that remains to be seen."

Other cast-members returning to Line of Duty series five include Polly Walker as Gill Biggeloe, Andrea Irvine as Roisin Hastings, Aiysha Hart as DS Sam Railston, and Tony Pitts as Lester Hargreaves.

BBC on YouTube

As reported by the Express, fans of the crime-drama have been given a taste of what to expect in the new series, after a sneak peak of Line of Duty's fifth season was released on the official BBC YouTube channel.

The new series picks up from where viewers left off, which saw AC-12 come to the understanding that corruption levels within the force were much worse than initially thought. Line of Duty creator Mercurio has previously stated that series five will explore "very fresh territory," and when speaking to Digital Spy, he added, "there are things we haven’t done before, characters we haven’t seen before and that I think’s part of the construction of the series."

Line of Duty series five begins on BBC One at 9 p.m. on Sunday, March 21.