South west London police officers launch first plodcast in the Met

Two south west London police officers have launched a new podcast or ‘plodcast’ to show the human side of policing.

Daniel Hawes and Claire Johnson from the South West London Basic Command Unit, or Dan and CJ as they are known on the Plodcast, are producing, editing and broadcasting the first podcast in the Metropolitan Police in their spare time with their own equipment alongside their full-time roles as police officers.

Hawes and Johnson have been with the police for nearly 40 years between them and the pair have spent most of their service in Westminster.

They have had the “un-policey” idea of doing a podcast for a while and feel that now is the right time to take to the audio platform to openly talk about issues that matter to their communities in Kingston, Merton, Richmond and Wandsworth.

Hawes said: “We wanted people to see what we are like. We’re neighbours, we’re family members, we’re friends. We have our own shortcomings. We have our own frailties. We don’t get it right all the time. We’re constantly learning.

“You don’t put on this uniform, and then think everything is now going to be perfect. We’re human, we make mistakes. We’ve got our own personalities. You are a person who happens to be a police officer, not a police officer who happens to be a person.”

The Plodcast will be led by listener suggestions and comments and they want a fly-on-the-wall feel with no topic off-limits.

They were inspired by the format of RuPaul’s podcast RuPaul: What’s the Tee with Michelle Visage and said YouTube has been their best friend in learning how to put the podcast together.

In the first two episodes they talk about everything from what they’re watching on Netflix to chatting to BCU Commander Lis Chapple and a quiz about policing acronyms.

They are planning on putting out a 40-minute episode per month with up to two guests.

Hawes and Johnson told SWL that topics they feel are important to discuss, potentially in multiple episodes, are violence against women and girls and stop and search alongside specific stories to south west London like the rise in catalytic converter thefts.

They will also create and post documentaries alongside the Plodcast episodes on their Youtube channel South West BCU – MPS.

The Plodcast is currently available on Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic and Spotify.

 If you have a question or a topic that you would like the Plodcast to talk about, you can email [email protected].

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