Top policewoman at one of Britain’s worst-rated forces to hunt down fake celeb ‘crooks’


Top policewoman at one of Britain’s worst-rated forces to hunt down fake celeb ‘crooks’ in new reality show

  • Lisa Theaker is first serving officer to lead team of investigators on Hunted
  • Will make her first appearance next month in celebrity edition of show
  • ‘Fugitives’ will include former Olympic sprinter Iwan Thomas and Ollie Locke-Locke
  • Despite using her holiday allowance to take part in show, decision to include Mrs Theaker in programme has angered some 


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As a top policewoman in one of Britain’s worst-rated forces, most people might expect Lisa Theaker to dedicate her time to catching real life criminals.

But the Assistant Chief Constable of Cleveland Police has provoked dismay after it emerged she will soon be hunting down fake celebrity ‘crooks’ on a reality TV show.

Mrs Theaker is the first serving officer to lead the team of investigators on Channel 4‘s hit programme Hunted, in which contestants try to evade capture for several days. Previous series have been led by retired detectives.

She will make her first appearance next month in a celebrity edition of the show, where the fugitives will include former Olympic sprinter Iwan Thomas, drag queen The Vivienne and Ollie Locke-Locke, from TV show Made In Chelsea.

Mrs Theaker, who is filmed swearing in the programme, used her holiday allowance to take part. But the decision has angered some, especially as it comes as the force is trying to improve its reputation following a series of scandals and a damning inspection in 2019.

New role: Lisa Theaker

New role: Lisa Theaker

New role: Lisa Theaker 

In September that year, Cleveland became the first force in England and Wales to be rated inadequate by the police watchdog across all areas of performance – effectively putting it in special measures. Mrs Theaker was appointed as chief of staff to lead the response into the watchdog’s findings.

And only last week Cleveland, was named the most crime- ridden place in England and Wales, with more offences committed per head of population than anywhere else.

Joan McTigue, a councillor in Middlesbrough, accused Mrs Theaker of ‘making a laughing stock of the force’. She added: ‘The force has a terrible name across the country and what she’s decided to do can only make it worse.’

Mrs Theaker said she donated her fee for the celebrity edition, in aid of the Stand Up To Cancer charity, to another charity dedicated to helping young women in the Tees Valley.

She told The Sunday Telegraph she decided to take part ‘to both represent the North East and amplify women’s voices, two things I’m passionate about’.

She added: ‘I want to showcase the talents of policing. It’s no secret that Cleveland Police was inspected and it was effectively deemed to be an inadequate force. But actually there are some really great people here, particularly women, who are now in senior positions.’

Only last week Cleveland was named the most crime- ridden place in England and Wales, with more offences committed per head of population than anywhere else. Pictured: Cleveland Police Headquarters

Only last week Cleveland was named the most crime- ridden place in England and Wales, with more offences committed per head of population than anywhere else. Pictured: Cleveland Police Headquarters

Only last week Cleveland was named the most crime- ridden place in England and Wales, with more offences committed per head of population than anywhere else. Pictured: Cleveland Police Headquarters 

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