Crime writers should depict more detectives as clean-living and balanced rather than damaged and hard-drinking like the Inspector Rebus of Ian Rankin's novels, a chief constable has said.
Nick Gargan, chief constable of Avon and Somerset (seen in the below photo), said some police officers modelled themselves on fictional cops when they were interviewed on television in high-profile cases.
Speaking to the Guardian before a talk on crime fiction at the Chipping Norton literary festival at the weekend, Gargan said: "I've seen cops on the steps of court putting in rather theatrical performances for the TV cameras and I've thought: you weren't trained to do that. It doesn't represent any part of the rest of your working life. You've thought, tomorrow morning I'm likely to appear on the steps of the court, I'll be expected to say something. What are my reference points, how am I going to come across?"
Gargan said he accepted Rankin's that a novel giving a realistic portrayal of police procedure would be "the most boring book in the world", but objected to crime authors depicting one detective doing the work of what in reality would be that of up to 40 officers.
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