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Open University Open Justice Centre academics contribute to BAFTA-nominated series

Academics from The Open University’s Open Justice Centre were delighted to see their BBC and Open University co-production earning a BAFTA nomination in the factual series category.

The Detectives: Fighting Oorganised Crime was the series in question; it followed police officers from Greater Manchester Police as they tackled bringing members of organised crime gangs to justice.

Consulting academics Francine Ryan, Senior Lecturer in Law and Director of the Open Justice Centre, Hugh McFaul, Head of the Law School, and Dr Zoe Walkington, Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology and Counselling, were all delighted to see their work recognised in this way.

Its two episodes were filmed over two years. Broadcasted in March 2021, it depicted a raw and terrifying glimpse into organised crime in Manchester, looking at the violence that gangs are prepared to carry out and how the police worked to find the culprits.

Despite being pipped to the post by another series in the BAFTA’s factual series category, the Open Justice Centre’s law academics remain thrilled to have received a nomination for this prestigious accolade.

Francine said: “The Detectives: Fighting Organised Crime was a hugely popular series, which had the nation gripped, so we were already immensely proud. But to see our co-production recognised in this way with a BAFTA nomination is a major coup. We are even more proud to have seen it come so close to winning this famous, glittering award. The series gave viewers unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to live police investigations, and we all thoroughly enjoyed working on it.”

The Detectives: Fighting Organised Crime is due to return to TV screens this year.

To find out more about the TV series, visit

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