Murder Prevention Unit

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Murder Prevention Unit TV Poster Image
Violent, thought-provoking British crime drama.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series raises questions about whether public safety concerns outweigh citizens' rights to safety. Officers engage in unethical tactics to gather information, like tricking people close to a suspect or breaking into and searching their homes without legal rights. The lone female in the unit is sometimes talked down to by the men.

Violence

Murder scenes are graphic, showing victims being attacked, beaten, and killed. In one scene, a woman is hit repeatedly by her male attacker -- the voice-over narration mentions that the man intends to rape her, and he strangles her with a rope. Discussion of all kinds of violent crimes.

Sex

Discussion sex-related crimes is common. No nudity.

Language

"S--t," "bitch," and "ass" are used. "F--k" is bleeped.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adult characters sometimes smoke.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this London-set crime drama includes graphic scenes of murder (for example, a woman is beaten and strangled by a man) and allusions to sex acts, though nudity is rare. Strong language includes cursing as well as frank discussion of violent sexual assaults (some of which involve minors), and there's plenty of plot-driven suspense in each investigation. The series raises intriguing questions about whether the need for public safety outweighs citizens' privacy rights. It's definitely not for kids, but adults and mature teens may enjoy the show's unique approach to fighting crime.

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What's the story?

Based on a real-life homicide unit within London's Metropolitan Police, the crime drama MURDER PREVENTION UNIT centers on a team of officers whose task is to predict where, when, and how violent crimes will occur -- and to step in at the crucial moment and prevent them. Using psychological profiling, forward-thinking detective work, and plenty of instinct, the six-member unit, which is led by formidable DCI Patrick Goddard (Conor Mullen), hones in on likely offenders and conducts a thorough \"pre-murder investigation.\" They track the suspects' movements, identify the intended target, create a probable crime scenario, and lie in wait for events to play out. When they do, the team moves in to apprehend the suspect and put together enough evidence to support the case in court. But the challenges of following clues that lead to uncertain crimes are daunting, so the officers, including DC Maurice Gibney (Michael Smiley) and DC Mark Rosen (Tom Brooke), sometimes resort to unethical tactics to locate missing pieces to their puzzles.

Is it any good?

This fast-paced, suspense-filled drama is entertaining enough, but viewers will probably be more intrigued by the possible implications of this new type of law enforcement. Every move the officers make spurs questions about the right to privacy vs. citizens' security, and viewers are left pondering questions like these: When police are allowed to break their own rules, are we safer for it? Who polices the police? How strongly must evidence point toward an intended crime for courts to hand down a guilty verdict?

Murder Prevention Unit definitely isn't for kids, but if your teens can handle the show's graphic violence and strong language, watching the series with them is sure to prompt some interesting discussions.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the legal and ethical challenges of law enforcement. What kinds of evidence must police officers compile against a criminal? How subjective is the American court system? How does it compare to the British system? Is it possible to be truly impartial as a juror or a judge? Why is crucial evidence sometimes omitted from a trial? How would our justice system be affected if police were allowed to bend the rules to build a case against a suspect? What would be the negative result of such a change? Could it be a good thing? How could the system be abused? How does this show compare to American crime dramas?

TV details

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