Click here to Skip Navigation


Jackie Malton.
Twitter @Thursley

Ex Detective Chief Inspector Metropolitan Police and role model for award winning series Prime Suspect.

Ex Detective Chief Inspector Metropolitan Police and role model for award winning series Prime Suspect.

Jackie joined the police service in 1970 and served most of her service in the Criminal Investigation Department, investigating all aspects of crime including armed robberies, rape, murder, fraud, arson, blackmail etc and is a trained hostage negotiator. She served on The Flying Squad, as the only female amongst forty men investigating armed robberies and arresting armed robbers ‘across the pavement’.

Jackie set up the second Domestic Violence Unit in the Metropolitan Police in 1988.She was one of the first police officers to facilitate working with a London local authority (Hammersmith and Fulham) in a pan local authority response to Domestic Violence which included setting up the first Domestic Violence Intervention programme for male offenders and working with Shepherds Bush Women’s Aid.

As senior police officer she broke the mould by being a trustee for Women in Prison Charity, Streetwise (a project for rent boys in Earls Court) and an HIV project working in West London with those affected by HIV through drug abuse. 

Jackie was also a founder member of the Metropolitan Police LGBT Community and was the only ‘out’ senior female officer in the MPS for many years.

In 1991 Jackie was introduced to the crime writer Lynda La Plante who asked her to assist in the authenticity and storytelling for the award-winning series Prime Suspect. Jackie shared with Lynda over a number of months her experiences as a serving Detective Chief Inspector in the Met. Police and the programme depicted these hardships described by Jackie. Only three women held that position in the MPS and the programme, writer and actress went on to win numerous accolades for their contribution.

Lynda la Plante later described Jackie as ‘the most important person I have ever met’. 

The first three series covered three issues appertaining to the Police at that time:  Sexism and Misogyny, Racism, Child Abuse and Homosexuality.
Prime Suspect 1 & 3 were awarded bafta’s for the best programme on TV.
The series was sold around the word and has been viewed by over 220 million people.

Numerous academic papers and two books have been written about the character DCI Tennison:

In 2010 Dr. Deborah Jermyn from the University of Roehampton wrote ‘Prime Suspect’ which examines what made Prime Suspect so distinctive and controversial. Dr Jermyn refers to the ‘institutionalised sexism and
misogyny threats to real life discrimination and prejudice in British Policing and its attitudes to women, whether as investigators or victims…’

Justice Provocateur written by Professor’s Gray Cavender and Nancy Jurik, from the Faculty of Justice & Social Inquiry, at Arizona State University,
examined the series Prime Suspect in relation to the ‘media construction of justice, gender, and police work, exploring its progressive treatment of contemporary social problems in which women are central protagonists’.

‘Shrewdly examining the show, as an illustration of the tensions and contradictions of women’s experiences and their various relations to power, Justice Provocateur, provides a framework for interrogating the meanings and implications of justice, gender and social transformation…’

Since leaving the Police Service, Jackie has been employed working as a story consultant on many of the major police drama’s seen on TV screens, including the Prime Suspect series which was based on her experiences as a senior detective in the Metropolitan Police Service. She has an MA in Creative Writing and her first play’ Be Mine’ was transmitted on Radio 4 Play for Today.

In addition, Jackie has an MSc in Addiction Psychology and has been in recovery from alcoholism since 1992. For the last twelve years she has voluntarily facilitated weekly addiction groups at HMP Coldingley, a men’s prison.  Jackie also voluntarily facilitates as a clinician 1-1 sessions with prisoners who ask for help with addiction to drink, drugs, crime, love and sex, and gambling. Most of this work looks at adverse child experiences and core social motives relating to their social identity and addiction. She continues to support men who have been released into the community.

Jackie has recently contributed a chapter in ‘Addiction, Behavioural Change and Social Identity’ edited by Dr. Sarah A. Buckingham and Professor David Best, entitled ‘Addiction to crime and a recovery social identity, published 2017, by Routledge.

Jackie is also a motivational speaker. Her latest appearances in this role were at the law firm Allen & Overy (April 2018). Jackie was the keynote speaker at UK Niche Communications Conference (May 2018) and is due to speak at the Senior Police Leadership Conference in Wiltshire scheduled for September 2018.

Jackie was also a keynote speaker (jointly with the Roehampton Priory) at the 2017 ICAAD conference entitled: A Need for Belonging: is Addiction the new Prime Suspect.

Jackie is currently involved with the BBC investigating a cold case review with other experts examining the Hammersmith Nude Murders of the 1960’s.