My son Patrick is obsessed with all things emergency services. Anything involving a uniform, a flashing light and a siren – then he is hooked!

Patrick training his
police dog, Heidi

His favourite TV programme is Dublin Fire Brigade, but I have decided to focus this week’s top ten on my favourite police dramas. I didn’t include any of these in my top ten TV programmes last year as there are just too many and they needed a week dedicated just to them.

Now in the age of Netflix you can go back and binge watch them any time you like to get you through the long winter months.

  1. Messiah – not the new Netflix show but the BBC original starring Ken Stott as Red the lead detective. Gruesome does not even begin to describe the plot lines and we were left wondering to the very end.
  2. Luther – starring Idris Elba in the lead role. Do I need to say anymore? OK, it wasn’t only Idris as John Luther that makes this cop series so watchable. Slick story-lines and a stellar cast leave you cowering behind the cushions anytime you watch it.
  3. Prime Suspect – back in the nineties, this drama brought Helen Mirren to our screens as the ball-breaking DCI Jane Tennision who always got the job done, even though, or maybe especially because her misogynistic superiors wanted so badly for her to fail.
  4. Happy Valley – a role Sarah Lancashire was born to play, stretching her acting muscles a little further than Raquel on Corrie. Another tough, capable woman in a police uniform, Fighting her own demons as she fought with personal determination to make sure the bad guys ended up where they belong.
  5. Mindhunter (inc MH Unabomber) – Clarice Starling in the movie Silence of the Lambs was most people’s first introduction to the FBI’s Behavioural Science Unit and all so began a new fascination in the minds of wannabee crime solvers. Mindhunter takes us way back to how it all began, giving us an insight into the minds of some of the most fascinating and horrifying serial killers that coined the term. Out of all the seasons, I thought the one dedicated to the unabomber was the most brilliant.
  6. Ashes to Ashes – the follow up, but in my opinion superior, to Life on Mars. Set in the 1980s the homage to the style of the era was a definite plus. Also a fantastic cast with the fiery love-hate relationship between Alex Drake and Gene Hunt. I admit to crying at the ending as everything became clear.
  7. Cagney and Lacey – yet another nod to fantastic female crime fighters, but I had to include this as they where the original queens of kick ass in an era when women with a badge were very rare, especially those who where raising a family too like Lacey or was it Cagney – does anyone remember who was who?
  8. Cracker – exactly as the name suggests it was a cracker of a detective show. With Robbie Coltrane playing the dark, damaged criminal psychologist with a smart mouth and an even smarter brain. He wasn’t as lovable as his later role of Hagrid in Harry Potter, but was simply brilliant.
  9. Dexter – the serial killer with a positive purpose. A code making him a dark avenger that we all wanted to achieve his odious objectives. A guest appearance from John Lithgow and some of the most vile villains on TV, made this the perfect Sunday evening view. It would be much higher up the list if it had ended with a single gun shot in season 7 as season 8 and the final ending left me feeling very disappointed.
  10. Mr Mercedes – starring my favourite actor and guilty pleasure crush, Brendan Gleeson and based on a novel by Stephen King, where could this really go wrong. Dark and twisted yet slick and engaging this was a n excellent show that makes you feel more than a little uncomfortable.

But where is Line of Duty I hear you cry? Another brilliant drama leaving you on the edge of your seats no doubt, but yet another drama that doesn’t know when to stop. Going into season 6, I am a little weary with the hunt for H. H does not stand for Hurry on this occasion, but I am now at the stage where it will stand for, Hooray when/if, it finally reaches its conclusion.

Messiah will leave you guessing ‘whodunnit’ right until the very end – even though the clues are there. Watch it if you dare!
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