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  • Badass Crew: Befitting them being a highly trained police unit.
  • Big Good: While they have had corrupt police officers in their midst (Dot noticeably), the main team are as moral as they can be in the circumstances. Unless Ted is the notorious crooked officer Big Bad, H.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: AC-12 are very used to the manipulations of corrupt officers around them, but their gradual realisation that Cottan is the Caddy triggers this in everyone.
  • For Great Justice: Their stated aim. It more often than not fails.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Frequently. While they almost always take down the corrupt officer of the season, they are left with the knowledge that it is rendered void by the level of corruption.
    • Especially at the end of series 6 - H/"the Fourth Man" has been identified and put away, but Ted has been forced to retire and AC-12 has been folded into AC-3, being left weaker than ever.

     Ted Hastings 
Played by: Adrian Dunbar
The boss of AC-12 and of Fleming and Arnott.

  • Badass Baritone: Has a very deep voice that he uses impressively during interrogations.
  • Badass Bureaucrat:
    • As the leader of AC-12, he doesn't do anywhere near as much field work as Steve and Kate, but is clearly extremely skilled, as shown at the end of Season 3 when AC-12 gets invaded by gunmen.
    • When one of the Balaclava Men takes a hostage at AC-12 in Season 4, Hastings gives him one opportunity to release the hostage, then shoots Balaclava Man in the head.
  • Being Good Sucks: He turns down a bribe in Season 2, which comes back to haunt him throughout, costing him his marriage and financial security.
  • Catchphrase: several:
    • "God give me strength."
    • "Mother of God!"
    • "Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the wee donkey!"
    • "I'm interested in one thing and one thing only, and that's bent coppers."
    • "This is Superintendent Hastings...Yes, like the battle."
    • "Carry the fire."
  • The Chains of Commanding: Frequently. As he has to sign off on AC-12's decisions, he has to piss off a lot of people and it results in him generally lacking respect.
  • Da Chief: To AC-12.
  • Freudian Trio: The ego to (usually) Steve's id and Kate's superego, but they can sometimes switch it around. He's always the ego, though.
  • Officer O'Hara: A Northern Irish Catholic police superintendent.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Generally the person who can be counted on most in a position of authority.
  • Team Dad: To Steve and Kate, which becomes an issue in Season 3 and 4 when both accuse him of favouring the other.
  • Verbal Tic: "That poor wee girl" or "fella".

     Steve Arnott 
Played by: Martin Compston

A sergeant in AC-12, who transfers from anti-terrorism after being pressured into hiding evidence after a shooting.

  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: The "Sergeant Rough" to Kate's "Captain Smooth".
  • The Casanova: Steve slips into this when he's being charming.
  • Cowboy Cop: Ironically so for someone whose whole job is upholding police standards.
  • Distressed Dude: Frequently. He gets thrown down the stairs by Balaclava Man in Season 4 and gets kidnapped and tortured in episode 4 of series 1, and again in episode 5, in his own car.
  • Downfall by Sex: While usually a professional officer, Steve seems to have some difficulty restraining himself from getting involved with inappropriate relationships. This includes having sex with a witness, officers on conflicting investigations and even someone he's investigating. Frequently this causes him to get admonished by Hastings.
  • Failure Knight: Joins AC-12 after being pressured to cover up a mistaken shooting.
  • Frame-Up: Dot frames him in Season 3 as the Caddy.
  • Freudian Trio: The id to Kate's superego and Ted's ego most of the time, as he is more hot-headed.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Several times, especially when he's framed by Dot as the Caddy in Season 3.
  • Hiding the Handicap: When he returns to work after being attacked, Arnott tells Hastings the wheelchair he is using is simply a precaution to keep the health and safety authority happy about him returning to duty. He actually does need to use it, as there is a chance he will have permanent mobility issues as a result of his physical and cerebral injuries.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In series 2, a forensics team led by Arnott finds a considerable sum of cash in DI Denton's house. However, he has them hide and pretend to rediscover it when she is present in the house so he can observe how she reacts. This "showboating" comes back to bite him in the ass in series 3, when Denton's defense lawyer attempts to use the fact he didn't react to the discovery of the cash in Denton's presence (as he had seen it before) to suggest he planted it in the house to frame her.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Down Played but Steve's determination to do what's right even above politics or the law means he's often seen by others as this, in particular Tim Ifield and John Corbett. Even Ryan Pilkington and another of Tommy Hunter's subordinates consider him as straight as they come.
  • Kavorka Man: He Really Gets Around and seems irresistible to most women in the cast (except Kate, of course). Martin Compston is handsome, but Steve is abrasive, inattentive, and has no personal life thanks to his work.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: He suffers from impotence throughout Series 5 and 6 after being viciously attacked by Balaclava Man in Series 4.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Sleeping with Lindsey Denton in Series 2 and it coming out in Series 3 (although it is miraculous he still has a job after that).
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Kate.
  • Romancing the Widow: He sleeps with Steph Corbett in Series 6.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Despite being supposed to uphold the rules, Arnott frequently falls into this and it causes a lot of trouble, especially in Season 3 and afterwards as his actions with Lindsey Denton come back to haunt him.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Although both turned out not to be as bad as he suspected, even when he thinks they are, he shows a great deal of sympathy for Danny in Season 3, Lindsey in Season 2, and Corbett in Series 5.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: The disability he receives from Balaclava Man has him pill addicted and impotent, but he has no problem running during several high-pressure investigations and holding his own in gunfights.
  • Waistcoat of Style: Almost always wears a waistcoat.
  • Verbal Tic: He and Kate always call each other "mate".

     Kate Fleming 
Played by: Vicky McClure
As of Season 5, Ted's second-in-command, a specialist in going undercover.

  • Action Girl: As proved in Season 3 when she goes undercover with an arms unit and at the end of the season when she takes on the conspiracy with a huge gun.
  • Badass Driver: As seen late in Season 6 when she and Jo Davidson are trying to escape a police chase.
  • Befriending the Enemy: Invoked in-universe. Bordering on Informed Attribute, but this is her whole shtick when she goes undercover.
  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: The Captain Smooth to Steve's Sergeant Rough (especially as she has been promoted above him a couple of times now).
  • Freudian Trio: Usually the superego to Steve's id and Ted's ego.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Steve.
  • Power Hair: Her hair has been short since Series 3, when she became the default character to go undercover.
  • The Power of Acting: Bordering on Informed Attribute, she always goes undercover and gets results, despite how unsubtle some of her methods are.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: She resigns from AC-12...only to be immediately pulled back in when her new boss, Jo Davidson, turns out to be potentially corrupt, and then she's forced to be undercover again.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Although Maneet becomes a slightly more prominent member of the cast as time goes on, the main characters remain as Hastings, Arnott, Fleming, and, to a lesser degree, Cottan. She is the only woman of them.
  • Women Are Wiser: Downplayed, as she's still wrong some of the time, but she's much calmer than Steve.
  • Verbal Tic: She and Steve always call each other "mate".

     Matthew 'Dot' Cottan 
Played by: Craig Parkinson
A former member of Gates' squad, he transfers after Series 1 to AC-12.

  • Affectionate Nickname: Twice. He's known as Dot, as in Eastenders, and "the Caddy" to his criminal friends, because he used to caddy for Tommy Hunter when he was a boy.
  • Big Bad Friend: Having ingratiated himself in with AC-12, he becomes this, especially in Season 3 when he works to frame Steve while attempting to seduce Kate.
  • Death Equals Redemption: After three seasons of spying on AC-12 and other officers unrepentantly, he's gunned down after preventing the conspiracy from killing Kate and makes a dying confession to her.
  • Detective Mole: Even more so given that he plays this role within Gates' department and then later within AC-12.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Somewhat, as the audience knows he is the Caddy from the end of Season 1, but it takes until the end of Season 3 for AC-12 to learn this.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: He's beneath Tommy Hunter and "H" (and presumably several others) in the conspiracy, but as the inside man to AC-12, he functions in this role from Season 1 to 3, especially as he seems to be more active than both of them.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Dot saves Kate from one of his criminal associates by stepping in the line of fire when he tries to shoot her, and provides her with detailed incriminating information as he is dying. It doesn't absolve him of all his treachery, but all things considered its a fairly noble way to go.
  • The Heavy: While it's clear that he works for a vast conspiracy, he does most of the dirty work that we see onscreen.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Takes the killing bullet meant for Kate from the conspiracy.
  • Hired to Hunt Yourself: The job he volunteers for in Season 3.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Gradually, but big time in Season 3. He spends most of his time manipulating investigations and blackmailing people, but when the Caddy investigation heats up, he becomes gradually more active until killing Lindsey.
  • Karma Houdini: Despite being the mastermind of most of Seasons 1 and 2, he gets away with it until the end of Season 3, and he's killed at the end of it.
  • The Mole: A classic example to AC-12.
  • Taking the Bullet: Does this for Kate at the end of Season 3.
  • Tragic Villain: Progressively becomes clear that he is one. Unlike most members of the conspiracy, he doesn't seem to get much out of it, except some career advancement. Is clearly this by Series 3, when he reluctantly covers up years of abuse by conspiracy members and begs Lindsey to take the bribe he offered her, only to kill her when she finally refuses. He completely breaks down after this. He also has a flash of guilt on his face when his frame on Steve sticks, and doesn't shoot Kate when she's chasing him even though he has multiple opportunities. Considering he was manipulated into being a criminal mole from a young age, this makes sense.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Especially in Season 3, when he nearly succeeds in framing Steve as the Caddy.
  • The Chessmaster: Is always several steps ahead of the investigation into him, uses disposable underlings to do his dirty work and weaves together elaborate frame-jobs on his enemies.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: After "bringing in" PC Bains and fabricating injuries to give the illusion of a struggle, he is lauded as a brave copper who brought down an AFO by his colleagues and put forward for a commendation. Little do they know it was him who had Bains under his thumb, and he is the infamous police mole known as "The Caddy" they are searching for".

     Maneet Bindra 
Played by: Maya Sondhi
The lowest-ranking member of AC-12, a generally kindly administrator.

  • Death In The Limelight: Gets more to do in her final episode than ever before.
  • Fatal Family Photo: Having been pregnant for Season 4, she returns from maternity leave and shows Kate a video of her baby. She's killed in that episode.
  • Remember the New Guy?: The introduction of her cousin, about who she apparently feels strong enough to commit corruption, has shades of this.
  • Slashed Throat: How she dies.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Brutally killed in the first episode of Season 5 to motivate AC-12 to take down the criminal gang.
  • Walking Spoiler: It's hard to talk about her role in the show when you watch Seasons 4/5.


     Georgia Trotman 
Played by: Jessica Raine

A new A-12 officer and Arnott's new partner in Series 2.

     Tatleen Sohota 
Played by: Taj Atwal
The newest and most junior member of AC-12 who performs admin and research duties.

Rest of Police

     Tony Gates 
Played by: Lenny James

The main focus of Series 1, a corrupt police officer charged with stacking offences against criminals.

  • The Ace: Partially deconstructed. His great success is why AC-12 are interested in him, but he's shown as being genuinely good at his job and (mostly) moral.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Always extremely well-groomed and goes to save a baby while dressed like this.
  • Broken Ace: By the time Tommy Hunter's men are done with him.
  • Driven to Suicide: He commits suicide at the end of Series 1 because it's the only way he can financially provide for his family.
  • Famous Last Words: "This is for my family. This is what you owe me. This and nothing else. I was never bent. You know that, don't you?" Also doubles as an Armour-Piercing Question for Steve.
  • Fatal Flaw: Gates always folds when it comes to Jackie Laverty's seduction. It consistently digs him deeper and deeper into the hole he finds himself in.
  • Good All Along: Played with. He stacked offences but he was always well-intentioned.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Played with. While he's corrupt prior to this, he really jumps off the slippery slope after helping Jackie to cover up a murder.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Though always a character with depth rather than a villain, he gives a Dying Declaration that redeems him.
  • Scary Black Man: Deconstructed, then subverted. Tony is scary in so far that he is very component, and corrupt, but as he accidentally digs himself deeper, it turns out he's not remotely scary.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: He tries to help his lover cover up a car accident. Turns out it was murder. She's murdered by her criminal associates. He tries to dig himself out, can't, and, as he's dying, attempts to take down the corruption surrounding him - which fails after his dying declaration is ruled inadmissible.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: Kicks off the plot. AC-12 suspects his arrest records mean he's a little too good at his job to be clean.
  • Tragic Hero: Of the antagonistic variety.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Deconstructed. He becomes less of a villain as the season goes on and as his good publicity becomes shakier.
  • Where da White Women At?: Downplayed, but both his wife and Jackie are white.

     Lindsey Denton 
Played by: Keeley Hawes
The main focus of Season 2, the sole survivor of a mass murder gone wrong following a transfer within witness protection.

  • Ambiguously Evil: In Season 2, her behaviour deliberately zigzags this, with every good action followed up by a violent or disturbing one.
  • Back for the Dead: Killed at the end of Season 3 after being released from prison.
  • The Bus Came Back: Goes to prison at the end of Season 2. Returns after being released from prison midway through Season 3.
  • The Chew Toy: Lindsey has a terminally ill mother and was used for sex by Dryden. Then she's left alive after a violent ambush, but then she is tortured, bullied, and investigated, before being sent to prison for a crime she didn't intend to commit. Upon being released, she finds it impossible to cope with not being a police officer, which gets her killed.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Series 1 has AC-12 facing off with the extremely badass, loved, and well-respected Tony Gates. Lindsey is a manipulative but hopelessly lonely and despised character (in-universe).
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Of the more "spinster" variety — she is perpetually single, very lonely, and owns a (beloved) cat.
  • Defiant to the End: When Dot kills her, he gives her a chance to back out but she refuses: "Because I'm a police officer" are her last words before she dies.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Women, but Steve guesses she will be with her mother when she's abducted from police custody. Turns into a Tear Jerker when Lindsey realises her mother already died before she came to her.
  • Extremely Protective Child: She adores her mother, who's in a care home, and she took the money from Jan so she could pay for her care.
  • Face Death with Dignity: A classic example when Dot kills her.
  • Fall Guy: Turns out she was this to the conspiracy, which is why she was left alive from the ambush in Season 2. It backfires when she's released from prison in Season 3, which leads to Dot having no choice but to kill her after she refuses to stop looking into it.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Regards not being a police officer (and being in prison) this way.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Played straight. She had an abortion because she was manipulated by Dryden. However, she's not a good girl and is shown to regret it deeply.
  • Hollywood Homely: People treat Lindsey as ugly, when Hawes actually just gained some weight and went without makeup to play her. When wearing a suit in the courtroom in Series 3, she borders on Ms. Fanservice.
  • Impersonating an Officer: In series 3, Denton, who is no longer a police officer, uses a fake warrant card to obtain information about Waldron from an internet cafe.
  • Lonely Funeral: Not even AC-12 goes to her eventual funeral after Dot kills her.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Reconstructed. While Denton is extremely manipulative (and this is one of the reasons why AC-12 and the audience suspects her), she actually had good intentions all along.
  • Morality Pet: Her ill mother and her actual pet, a cat. Invoked in universe when it turns out her mother's care was the reason she accepted the money in the first place, which implicated her in the conspiracy and resulted in her going to prison and losing everything.
  • Old Maid: Treated this way, although she's not that old.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Dryden calls her this, but given what we know about him, it's unreliable narration.
  • Tragic Dream: Absolutely obsessed with getting her police career back once she loses it in Series 2, although everyone but her knows this is not going to happen.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Everyone does this to her, from AC-12 (none of whom have any idea what a dangerous adversary she is or can be) to a parole officer who tries to extort oral sex from her.

     Michael Dryden 
Played by: Mark Bonnar
The chief of police, a one-time co-worker of Lindsey Denton's, and ultimately the person everyone in AC-12 must answer to.

  • Bastard Boyfriend: To Lindsey.
  • Break Them by Talking: Has probably the first and most famous extremely long interrogation in Line of Duty, which has now become a trademark (near the end of Season 2).
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: A variant. He's the public face of the police force and very corrupt with it.
  • Dirty Old Man: He's not that old, but he did groom and abuse Carly Kirk, who was fifteen.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Downplayed. He's sleazy and corrupt, but when AC-12 corners him, he admits that he was being blackmailed by the conspiracy and is at the mercy of much worse people, and becomes more sympathetic from then.
  • Karma Houdini: He stepped down from his position — which is really no punishment at all for abusing a fifteen-year-old girl.
  • Not Me This Time: Yes, he abused Carly Kirk and was blackmailed by the conspiracy for it, but he didn't have anything to do with the ambush in which Tommy Hunter was killed.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Justified. He actually doesn't want AC-12 to find anything because he was implicated in the conspiracy by sleeping with Carly Kirk.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Although he turns out to have some hidden depths, he's still slept with Carly Kirk when she was underage and had a major part in the conspiracy, in addition to having distinctive white hair.

     Sgt. Danny Waldron 
Played by: Daniel Mays
Apparently the main focus of Season 3, an armed unit member who commits a cold blooded shooting in the opening minutes and charges his team with covering it up.

  • Anti-Villain: He killed one man and then another through extreme use of Cold-Blooded Torture, but they were pedophiles who sadistically abused him when he was younger, so it's impossible to feel any sympathy for them, while he's shown to be completely broken.
  • Broken Bird: Rare male example. Danny is shown to be completely alone and broken by past abuse.
  • Children Are Innocent: A believer in this - he's going to kill Hari, who is a conspiracy member and the weak link in his team until Danny sees his daughter and abruptly changes his mind.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The first episode of series 3 sets him up to be the main focus of an AC12 investigation. However, he is dead by the end of the first episode, resulting in the investigation shifting to his team mates a few episodes, then to the recently paroled Lindsay Denton for the remainder of the series.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Appears to be the focus of Season 3 when he first appears, before being killed off in the closing minutes of the first episode, after which the investigation turns to Dot.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Behaves very aggressively and guardedly with everyone.
  • Mean Boss: His fatal flaw. He's such a bully that nobody in his team can stand him and he's frequently awful to them which causes them to kill him when they have the opportunity.
  • Pet the Dog: Literally. He takes the dog of one of the men he killed and just before he dies, is shown petting it.
  • Rape Leads to Insanity: Justified. He was violently sexually abused for most of his life, and it causes him to act extremely violently when he meets one of his rapists in later life.
  • Shower of Angst: Takes a lengthy one after killing one of his abusers.
  • Troubled Abuser: Most of his treatment of his subordinates falls under abuse, but he is shown to be extremely lonely, unhappy, and deeply traumatised by abuse he suffered as a child.
  • Villainous Breakdown: An epic one over the course of an episode which is also the first in which he appears.

     Roz Huntley 
Played by: Thandiwe Newton

The main focus of Series 4, a cold and manipulative officer who may be framing an innocent man as a serial killer preying on women in the city.

  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Perhaps the antagonist who most embodies this, she frames a whole lot of people for crimes she committed: her husband, Nick, a vulnerable survivor of the serial killer, Tim Ifield, the list goes on...
  • Confess to a Lesser Crime: Tries to do this when she pretends to be cheating on Nick with Tim, when she killed Tim. It ultimately fails.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Especially to Lindsey, the other woman under investigation by AC-12. Lindsey lacks respect or love from anyone but turns out to be pretty moral nonetheless, while Roz is greatly admired and well loved by her family, but seems to care little.
  • Control Freak: Along with her icy nature, she is absolutely desperate to be in control and hates to lose any of her power.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In contrast to most other Line of Duty antagonists, largely subverted. Roz claims to want to treat Balaclava Man's victims with respect and refuses to let others call them prostitutes - but she completely breaks Hana Reznikova to save her own skin over Tim Ifield's murder. Finally played straight when she realises that Jimmy is part of the conspiracy and gives up her chance at freedom to bring him in, and then more so when she admits to having framed Nick when she realises she's going to prison, so that someone will take care of her children.
  • Evil Cripple: Becomes a variant in the penultimate episode when Nick has her hand amputated as she had sepsis and could have died. This results in the last of her Sanity Slippage.
  • Family Versus Career: She took a lot of time off to raise her and Nick's children. She seems to regret it now and so prioritises her career over everything.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Roz's politeness and general good publicity would leave to believe she is a more heroic antagonist. By the time she's killed Tim and framed Hana and Nick, what a truly despicable person she is becomes apparent.
  • Go-Getter Girl: Desperately needs the serial killer case to pan out so she can be promoted.
  • Hiding the Handicap: Huntley is scratched very hard on her arm when she murders Tim Ifield, but keeps it covered by always wearing long sleeved clothing, even as it gets worse and infected. It later gets so badly infected she has to have half her arm amputated.
  • Hired to Hunt Yourself: Downplayed as the audience knows that she killed Tim Ifield, which is now the crime she's charged with investigating.
  • Ice Queen: A classic example, very tough, fierce, and cold. And she never defrosts.
  • Iron Lady: Very much so, especially evident when she is trying to remain in control of her mostly male team.
  • Kick the Dog / Pet the Dog: She is immediately shown to be a good police officer in saving Hana Reznikova's life heroically and refusing to let the past victims of Balaclava Man be known as prostitutes. This is brutally subverted and turns into Kick the Dog when she turns on Hana and uses her occupation against her by bullying her into implicating herself in Tim's murder.
  • Quickly-Demoted Woman: Played with. She points out correctly that AC-12 has a disproportionate tendency to target women (Lindsey in the second season), but this actually has the effect of letting her stay in her position longer than she usually would. However, when she is demoted, it's made clear that several people wanted this to happen already due to her gender.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Her stock-in-trade.
  • Meaningful Name / Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "Huntley" is a hunter.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: More ruthless than any other member of her team or her husband.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Played with. She's unfairly treated like this by her mostly male team for refusing to treat the victims as sex workers, but when she realises AC-12 is onto her, she immediately assumes this attitude to claim she's being unfairly persecuted.
  • Twofer Token Minority: To the police in-universe (but also to the show): she's a black woman.
  • Villain Has a Point: She's right to call out a lot of the sexist treatment she receives, but it doesn't make her vicious or corrupt behaviour any more excusable.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Her favourite technique when her more blatant attempts at framing others have failed. She pulls one on Jodie, who idolises her, in convincing her that Nick is Balaclava Man and he abused her. She also tries to pull one towards AC-12, claiming that they're persecuting her for being a black woman.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: A rare non-supernatural example. Roz scratches her hand when fighting Tim in the first episode then, unable to go to the hospital, attempts to cover it up. It gets worse and worse, clearly causing her a great deal of pain and anxiety until it turns out she developed sepsis and she loses her hand.

     Sam Railston 
Played by: Aiysha Hart

A Murder Squad detective and Steve's one-time girlfriend.

     Assistant Chief Constable Derek Hilton 
Played by: Paul Higgins

After Dryden's resignation, he gets promoted to Assistant Chief Constable.

  • Back for the Dead: Returns in Series 4 after being mysteriously absent since Series 1 and is killed off by the end of it.
  • Big Bad: Appears to be this when he's revealed as "H" at the end of Season 4, but the end of that season and Series 5 suggests that he's not.
  • Never Suicide: Agreed by AC-12 that he was probably murdered rather than committing suicide at the end of Series 4.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: And how. Hilton is utterly incompetent and despised by AC-12 for this.
  • Sleazy Politician: A variant. Though he's Chief Constable, not an actual politician, this becomes especially apparent when he tries to seduce Roz.

     John Corbett 
Played by: Stephen Graham

The main focus of Series 5.

  • Becoming the Mask: He's done this after going undercover with the gang.
  • Connected All Along: Apparently to Ted, as he is Irish by birth, but how remains to be seen.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Genuinely loves his wife and two daughters.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Played very straight. Corbett has no issue with killing corrupt police officers and claims to have completely lost all sense of morality after killing Hargreaves. However, he completely loses his cool when he apparently hears some gang members violently raping some trafficked women, and it gets him killed as he finally snaps and tries to stop them and turn himself in to AC-12.
  • Good Is Not Nice: At least he's good in his own mind. He gets police officers killed, but claims this is justified as they're corrupt.
  • Hookers and Blow: The two main ways that we learn how troubled he's become and how engrossed he is in his position.
  • First-Episode Twist: The first episode teases that he is a Bad Boss of a corrupt police gang. Only at the end of episode 1 do we learn that he's actually undercover.
  • Master Forger: He does this for the criminal gang.
  • The Rat: His whole role in the gang as an undercover police officer, and source of most of the conflict.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Claims to Steve that this is why he's gone rogue during his undercover mission. It appears to be the case after he's incapable of holding back when listening to the gang rape a woman.
  • Secret Identity Identity: His main conflict.
  • Undercover Cop Reveal: At the end of the first episode.

     Michelle Brandyce 
Played by: Laura Elphinstone

Detective Inspector in AC-3, Carmichael's second in command.

  • Foil: To Kate Fleming. Both are tall, skinny brunettes with (practically identical) Boyish Short Hair who serve as senior field officers to forceful commanders. However Brandyce comes off as less competent and more subservient than Fleming Probably because her boss is more controlling and unforgiving of human error than Hastings.

     Patricia Carmichael 
Played by: Anna Maxwell Martin

The Detective Chief Superintendent in charge of AC-3, brought in to investigate Hastings when he's arrested in Episode 5 of Series 5.

  • Bad Boss: When one of her subordinates makes a procedural mistake, Carmichael later coldly tells them that they almost cost her the case and that she expects their request for transfer in the morning. Which is sadly Truth in Television in police forces since an error in procedure can make the case go bad.
  • Ice Queen: She is extremely cold and hard.
  • It's All About Me: As mentioned above Carmichael slaps down one of her officers for a single mistake of the sort common in any large scale complex police operation on the grounds that it "almost cost ME the case" not that it "almost cost US the case" and that's probably just the most overt instance of her attitude.
  • Smug Smiler: When she investigates Hastings — whom she seems to dislike as much as he hates her — she can't keep the smile off her face. This infuriates Hastings.
  • The Sociopath: Possibly. She seemingly isn't one of the bad guys, but doesn't display any emotion besides either Tranquil Fury, or a sort of Delores Umbridge-esque smugness.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: She's the pick to replace Hastings as the head of AC-12.

     Martina 'Tina' Tranter 
Played by: Natalie Gavin

Police Sergeant in AC-3.

  • Alliterative Name: Tina Tranter. An All There in the Manual moment reveals her full name is Martina Tranter.
  • Distaff Counterpart: To Steve Arnott being the junior rank in the AC-3 power trio and the one to handle evidence documents. Unlike Arnott though, Tranter is a uniformed officer and not a detective.
  • Evil Minion: To the conspiracy. She tries to stab Gill in the bathroom.
  • Mook: There are a lot of shots of Tina participating in Ted's interview. Not fifteen minutes later, she has Gill cornered in the bathroom and tries to kill her.

    Jo Davidson 
Played by: Kelly Macdonald

The focus of Series 6.

    Ryan Pilkington 

Newly recruited Police Constable.

  • Expy: Said to be the next Dot, working his way through the ranks of British law enforcement.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Averted. He knows exactly who Kate and Steve are and does his best not to be recognised by them. Steve instantly realises who he is from a photo and while Kate doesn't realise who he is she knows he's familiar. Justified as even though Ryan was only thirteen at the time and it was over seven years ago, he was involved in the kidnapping and torture of Steve which was probably his first major offence and both he and Steve would likely remember the events. While Kate wouldn't necessarily remember every juvenile offender she's interviewed but the circumstances were enough to make it at least partially stick.
  • Hero Killer: Responsible for being involved in assassinating police officers, including Corbett.
  • The Mole: He's serving to leak information that's of interest to organized crime.


     Jackie Laverty 
Played by: Gina McKee

Tony Gates' mistress. Violently killed off by her criminal associates who threaten to frame Tony for the crime.

  • Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Gates' wife, Jools', Betty.
  • Dark Mistress: To Gates, and how.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Even considering that her death in the closing minutes of the second episode drives the entire first season, it turns out in Season 4 that she's only one of the conspiracy's many victims used to blackmail high-ranking men such as Gates.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Initially played with before being played straight. Sure, it looks like she's been murdered by her criminal associates and that blackmailing Tony is just an added bonus. But, by Season 4, it turns out that this has happened to many more women both before and after. Notably her body is kept in cold storage and is left there till series 6, making this a quite literal example

     Gill Biggeloe 
Played by: Polly Walker

AC-12's legal counsel in Series 3 and later becomes the main lawyer for the mayor in Series 5.

  • Amoral Attorney: Tries to get AC-12 to shut down investigations into institutionalized child sexual abuse to prevent the police from getting a bad rap.
  • Big Bad: To Series 5. She frames Ted.
  • The Bus Came Back: Has a supporting role in Series 3, leaves, then returns (although not attached to AC-12) in Series 5.
  • Dark Mistress: Keeps trying to be this for Ted.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Ted guesses that she is in the OCG for the money. Although she gets witness protection at the end of Series 5, she now lives in remote squalor.
  • Slave to PR: Exactly what she represents and apparently her whole job.
  • The Vamp: To Ted.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Cries on the toilet after she learns her OCG hasn't responded to her message to extract her from AC-12. And that's before the attempt on her life.

     Nick Huntley 
Played by: Lee Ingleby

Roz's long-suffering husband.

  • Cant Get Away With Nothing: Follows Roz because he suspects her of cheating out of genuine love for her, and has her hand amputated because she would have died otherwise. Roz uses these two things to frame him for murder. He also trusts his attorney, Jimmy Lakewell, who is also setting him up for murder.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Roz is extremely controlling and manipulative of Nick, and while this is portrayed as a bad thing, it's probably not treated as badly as if the genders were reversed.
  • Fall Guy: Twice. Roz is willing to set him up for Tim Ifield's murder and his friend Jimmy Lakewell frames him as Balaclava Man.
  • Henpecked Husband: Taken Up to Eleven. After finding out that Nick could implicate her in the murder of Tim Ifield, Roz harangues him relentlessly.


     Tommy Hunter 
Played by: Brian McCardie

The leader and head of multiple OC Gs throughout Series 1. He is killed off after attempting to enter witness protection in Series 2.

  • Big Bad: Most traditionally in Series 1, but even after being killed off in the opening episode of Series 2, he still has this function as his horrible acts haunt the series.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Apparently - in addition to raping Danny Waldron and starting him on his Start of Darkness, Tommy is the arbiter of most of the events of the series, including grooming Dot to join the police.
  • Hate Sink: An unrepentant murderer, terrorist, and child rapist.
  • Murderers Are Rapists: A confirmed killer, and eventually discovered to be a rapist of multiple children, including probably Danny Waldron and Carly Kirk.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Only appears fleetingly in a couple of episodes, but is mentioned in most episodes throughout the whole series.

     Jimmy Lakewell 
Played by: Patrick Baladi

Nick Huntley's lawyer and best friend.

  • Amoral Attorney: The clearest example in a series that doesn't have the highest opinion of lawyers. Jimmy manipulates Roz into zeroing in on Michael Farmer and framing him for the Balaclava Man murders.
  • Back for the Dead: He returns in Series 6 and is murdered at the end of his first episode.
  • Big Bad Friend: To Roz and Nick. When Roz comes to suspect Nick of being Balaclava Man, Jimmy assists her despite the fact that Nick is his best friend and he knows him to be innocent.
  • Exposition Victim: When Roz brings him in, he tells them exactly how the Balaclava Men gang operates.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: He has a larger role than first indicated, but he's the person involved in the conspiracy who explains to AC-12 that there's no Balaclava Man, it's in fact a gang that conspires to frame high-ranking officers and public servants to blackmail them.

    Lisa Mc Queen 
Played by: Rochenda Sandall

  • Ambiguously Brown: Everyone describes Lisa as mixed-race, but her actual ethnicity is mysterious.
  • Females Are More Innocent: She participates in most of the gang's illegal violence, but she spares Jane Cafferty and is shown crying after the gang kills Corbett. She also hardly ever participates in murder itself.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Frequently wears a leather jacket.
  • Karma Houdini: She gets Witness Protection at the end of Series 5. Yet, as she says, they got to Tommy Hunter in Witness Protection.
  • Perpetual Frowner: She never smiles.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The only female member of the gang.
  • Women Are Delicate: Lisa is still a highly dangerous and frightening gang member, but she spares Jackie (when Corbett had no intention of doing so), she freaks out when the gang kills Maneet, and she cries after they kill Corbett.

Identified by Detective Superintendent Ian Buckells


    Steph Corbett 
Played by: Amy De Bhrún

John Corbett's wife and mother of his daughter.

  • Ascended Extra: She appears to only be there to show that John Corbett has a heart. She has a surprisingly large role in Series 6.
  • Morality Pet: Despite Corbett's apparent manipulative, corrupt, and unfaithful behavior, it's revealed that this is all pretence and he really does love Steph.
  • Struggling Single Mother: After Corbett's death.
  • Widow Woman: We don't know anything about Steph as a person, except that she's John's widow and is struggling after his death.


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