Police informant

A British police officer blows the whistle on her profession's "culture of chauvinism."

Published May 2, 2006 11:30AM (EDT)

An 11-year veteran of the Leicestershire Constabulary in the U.K. secretly filmed her colleagues for four months as part of a television documentary. Nina Hobson caught fellow officers in infractions that were run-of-the-mill (getting take-out food while pretending to be busy), irresponsible (watching pornography while on duty) and truly dismaying (not taking rape allegations seriously).

The 35-year-old Hobson, who had left the force and returned to make the documentary, said that she took on the hidden-camera work because she "continued to hear things were not only bad but getting worse for officers on the ground." Her biggest gripe with her former colleagues, she told the Guardian, was watching officers "treating rape as a second class crime." The officers whose misdeeds were caught on tape will be disciplined, according to their commanding officer.

This story has been corrected since it was originally published.

By Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister writes for Salon. She is the author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women" (Free Press). Follow @rtraister on Twitter.

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