This is the second episode of Series 6 of Line of Duty. It was first broadcast on 28th March 2021.
Having opened an official inquiry into Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Jo Davidson and Operation Lighthouse, Anti-Corruption Unit 12 (AC-12) begin to suspect a cover up. Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott and Detective Constable Chloe Bishop dig into murdered journalist Gail Vella’s controversial reporting for clues, and find links to previous AC-12 cases. Their investigation takes a shocking turn when they begin to scrutinise Jo's personal life.
Superintendent Ted Hastings briefs his team, Anti-Corruption Unit 12 (AC-12), on their new enquiry into Operation Lighthouse - the investigation into the murder of journalist Gail Vella. Lead investigators Detective Sergeant (DS) Steve Arnott and Detective Constable (DC) Chloe Bishop stand with Hastings for the briefing. Hastings orders the rest of his assembled staff to remain seated including DC James, DC Philip and PC Yacoob. Hastings stresses the high profile nature of the case and their role in determining if police corruption has contributed to the failure to make an arrest. He hands over to DS Arnott who introduces Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Joanne Davidson as the current Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) of Operation Lighthouse. Arnott displays her Murder Investigation Team (MIT) personnel file on screen as he speaks. DS Arnott explains that their investigation has been triggered by a source coming forward from Hillside Lane Station ("The Hill"), maintaining their confidentiality as "Officer J." The source is Police Sergeant (PS) Farida Jatri.
PS Jatri sighs as she watches DCI Davidson meeting with the senior detectives from the (MIT) in their briefing room. Inside DS Chris Lomax updates them on the developments relating to the deceased Covert Human Intelligence Source (CHIS). The man was Alastair Oldroyd, he was drinking in a pub on October 26th, when a man he identified as "Ross Turner" abused and intimidated him, referencing his involvement in the Vella murder. PS Jatri approaches Detective Superintendent Ian Buckells in his office. DCI Davidson stresses that they need to find a witness to the exchange in the pub to clarify the real identity of Turner, who they believe may be Carl Banks or Terry Boyle. Lomax laments that Oldroyd lied about the name of the pub, they believe to protect criminal associates who were also present. Lomax relays that they are attempting to identify the pub using Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage from the area to link pubs to one of the people from the investigation on the night of October 26th. DCI Davidson thanks DS Lomax for the update and he leaves the room, giving DCI Davidson and Detective Inspector (DI) Kate Fleming privacy.
DI Fleming stresses the importance of determining if Oldroyd's death was murder or suicide. DCI Davidson defensively asserts that they are investigation. DI Fleming notes that she is not telling DCI Davidson anything new and goes on to theorise that if Oldroyd was murdered it suggests that someone was aware he had come forward with the information about Vella's death. DCI Davidson confides that she has learned from experience that it is better to have as few personnel involved in an investigation as possible to avoid leaks.
As DCI Davidson returns to her office she notices PS Jatri finishing her conversation with DSU Buckells. He calls her into his office and asks what is going on with PS Jatri. DCI Davidson avoids revealing her failed romantic relationship with PS Jatri and deflects the question. DSU Buckells shares that PS Jatri has made a transfer request for personal reasons and shares his concern about losing an experience member of the team. DCI Davidson claims to have noticed unspecified issues with PS Jatri. She suggests she send her away with a glowing reference to avoid any chance of embroiling DSU Buckells in an industrial tribunal. Believing DCI Davidson is protecting him, DSU Buckells is grateful her for her suggestion.
Superintendent Hastings meets with DS Arnott and DC Bishop for an update. DC Bishop shows footage of Vella's reporting pulled from the AC-12 archives. The first is a segment on the Coroner's Inquest into the police shooting of Karim Ali. DS Arnott's former commanding officer Philip Osborne gives a brief statement supporting his Counter Terrorism officers despite Ali's complete innocence. Vella notes discrepancies between the official police statements and those provided by Ali's wife making it unclear whether Ali received a warning. In fact no warning was issued. Hasting angrily remembers the case and bemoans Osborne's rise to Chief Constable since then. Hastings references DS Arnott's role as a whistle blower which led to his posting with AC-12.
DS Arnott is unmoved and asks DC Bishop to play the next clip. Vella is reporting from Queen Elizabeth Law Courts following the conviction of retired Chief Superintendent Patrick Fairbank for child sex abuse. Vella reports that there were further allegations that Fairbank suppressed investigations into child sex abuse that went beyond the involvement of local politicians like councillor Dale Roach. Vella notes the links between Jimmy Saville and senior police officers. She asserts that Saville sought out police figures to exploit the links to protect himself against scrutiny. Vella speculates what such figures stood to gain in return from their association. Hastings expresses empathy for Vella as a murder victim and bemoans her killers ongoing freedom before leaving the room.
DS Arnott follows Hastings back to his office, pressing his theory that Banks links to organised crime and Operation Lighthouse cannot be a coincidence. Hastings responds Banks was a hired killer and that they need to focus on finding out who gave the order. Hastings shares his consternation that they have not identified a motive for Vella's murder as her reporting, although controversial, was not breaking unique ground. DS Arnott speculates that she may have been developing a story that led to her murder. Hastings answers a call and excuses himself.
DS Arnott watches from the stairs overlooking the lobby as Hastings meets with Steph Corbett. Steph is agitated that Hastings has not returned her calls and tells him she is having issues with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Hastings directs her out of the building.
DCI Davidson notices PS Jatri watching her from the corner of the block as she leaves her flat at Croxford Street Residence building.
- Kelly MacDonald as Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Joanne Davidson
- Martin Compston as Detective Inspector (DI) Steve Arnott
- Vicky McClure as Detective Inspector (DI) Kate Fleming
- Adrian Dunbar as Superintendent Ted Hastings
- Anneika Rose as Police Sergeant (PS) Farida Jatri
- Nigel Boyle as Detective Superintendent (DSU) Ian Buckells
- Shalom Brune-Franklin as Detective Constable (DC) Chloe Bishop
- Perry Fitzpatrick as DS Chris Lomax
- Ace Bhatti as Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Rohan Sindwhani
- Elizabeth Rider as Deputy Chief Constable (DCC) Andrea Wise
- Amy De Bhrun as Stephanie Corbett
- Prasanna Puwanarajah as Haran Nadaraja, Vella's producer
- Gregory Piper as PC Ryan Pilkington
- Andi Osho as Gail Vella
- Owen Teale as Chief Constable Philip Osborne
- George Costigan as Chief Superintendent Patrick Fairbank
- Matthew Forsythe as Suitor
- Rosa Escoda as Amanda Yao
- Michael Yare as DCI John Rix, Davidson's police federation representative
- Tommy Jessop as Terry Boyle (photograph)
- Unknown as Carl Banks (photograph)
- Unknown as Alastair Oldroyd (photograph)
- Unknown as DC Eldwick, AC-12
- Unknown as DC James, AC-12
- Unknown as DC Philip, AC-12
- Unknown as PC Yacoob, AC-12
- Unknown as AC-12 PC (Male)
- Unknown as AC-12 DC (Female)
- Unknown as voice on Vella audio
- Unknown as Peter Broomfield (photograph)
- Unknown as Daniel Peronell (photograph)
- Unknown as Kevin Farmount (photograph)
- Ben Rose as Jake Kilorgan (photograph)
- Unknown as Dylan Ventridge (photograph)
- Unknown as Bearded OCG Member