Bond University criminologist Wayne Petherick believes police reality television shows may misrepresent the criminal justice process.
Bond University criminologist Wayne Petherick believes police reality television shows may misrepresent the criminal justice process.

Is TV twisting reality?

THE NSW Police Force is conducting a study on the impact of police reality television shows on community perception and attitudes towards our men and women in blue.

And according to a Bond University criminologist, we may be getting mixed messages. Wayne Petherick said while shows such as RBT, Recruits, and Border Patrol brought home the reality that police were actively fighting crime, they could also misrepresent the criminal justice process.

"These shows can hammer home that these things are very real and can also have other side effects such as increasing police recruitment, however it's a bit of a mixed bag," Dr Petherick said.

"It doesn't tend to rep- resent the length of time it takes for a forensic investigation. It makes it look like there's not much involved and it's all wrapped up in a neat little package, but it does show that the police are out there."

Tweed-Byron crime prevention officer Senior Constable Jennifer Poolman said reality police television shows offered an opportunity to educate the community about the law.

"While such programs provide a snap-shot only of how police operate, it provides an insight as to how police interact with the community," she said.

The survey is being conducted in partnership with the University of NSW. To take the survey visit www.surveys.unsw.edu.au.



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