Counter-terrorism police are jumping on the popularity of the Bodyguard series in a drive for new recruits.
Police chiefs hope they can attract a “younger, more tech-savvy audience” for the fight against real-life terrorism with a social media strategy during the BBC show.
The series, about a troubled bodyguard tasked with protecting a Home Secretary from terror, won 10 million viewers for its first episode – making it the biggest new British drama in more than a decade.
The senior national coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, said thousands had flocked to police recruitment sites in recent weeks thanks to the drive.
“If we’re capturing the imagination of people who might not have previously considered a career in policing, that’s a great step forward,” he added.
“Of course we need more detectives and more armed officers, similar to those featured in the programme. But just as important are those with the technical knowledge and skills to exploit terrorists’ digital devices for crucial evidence gathering.
“By using social media as a recruitment tool, we hope to attract a younger, more tech-savvy audience, whose skills will ensure we’re ready to face the evolving threat as it moves ever-closer to a virtual online space.”
As the series’ penultimate episode was to air on BBC One last night, officers were expected to use Twitter in a new drive.
Meanwhile, Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s new drama Killing Eve has launched with 3.3 million viewers. The BBC1 show, which follows an MI5 officer on the hunt for a killer, enjoyed rave reviews. The drama, based on the novellas by Luke Jennings and adapted by Waller-Bridge, peaked with 3.4 million on Saturday night.