Jackie Malton is a trailblazer in policing, working as one of the first openly gay women in the Metropolitan Police Service, as well as becoming a Detective Chief Inspector and the inspiration for Prime Suspect's Jane Tennison. We asked her what she would change about the world, if she was in charge
Jackie Malton is best known for being a trailblazer in policing, opening the doors for gay people to work in a space that used to be predominately male and predominately heterosexual. She became the inspiration for Helen Mirren's character Jane Tennison in Lynda La Plante’s TV police drama Prime Suspect. Since then, she’s gone on to become a hero for many gay people in the work place, particularly in the police force, and has worked on her own show The Real Prime Suspect and a biography of the same name.
Ahead of her new show Jackie Malton: A Life in Crime premiering on November 14, we asked her what she would change about the world if she was in charge.
1. Banning trophy hunting
One of the biggest things that upsets me is when people shoot down an animal and sit there gloating, with it at their feet. I would shut down all organisations that operate trophy hunting.
I’ve been to South Africa, and the animals are just beautiful. When I see pictures of people gloating with a dead animal, I have a visceral reaction. The people who kill animals in this way must be so arrogant, there’s a sense of entitlement there. We are guests in animals' spaces.
2. Ban any interfering with the moon
Another one I feel strongly about is banning people from going to the moon with the goal of mining it for resources. We should leave the moon as it is.
"We should leave the moon alone; it’s glorious by itself"
I’m a Cancerian in astrology and there’s a belief that Cancerians are in tune with the moon. Whether or not there’s any truth with that, we should just leave the moon alone. It’s glorious by itself.
3. Stop deforestation in the Amazon
It’s another one about the planet, but, when you see huge chunks destroyed in the Amazon, it’s so upsetting.
Opposite to my house is an oak tree that was for King George and I thought of it a lot when the sycamore tree by Hadrian’s Wall was cut down. I just don’t understand it. Trees are so important, so is nature. The Amazon does so much for us, in terms of medicine and lots of other things, in the same way that the tree outside my house has so much history. Trees do a lot for us.
4. All prisoners should be offered counselling
I think all prisoners should be offered counselling. I’ve worked with prisons for 17 years and, with nearly everyone I’ve spoken to, they’ve mentioned cruelty or poverty or some really terrible conditions in their childhood. That’s where learned behaviour is really important and, of course, then they grow up. That wounded child is now an adult.
"Counselling would actually help prisoners and prevent reoffending, helping the prisoners and prisons"
Counselling would help the prison service to be less under resourced. Prison isn’t easy, that’s something people often don’t understand. The punishment in prison is losing your liberty, prison isn’t about being punished while you are actually inside. Counselling would actually help prisoners and prevent reoffending, which helps prisoners themselves and prisons.
5. Implement a version of the 12-step programme for children who need it
The 12-Step programme is all about self-examination. Often, we worry about our peers and whether we belong in a group and that’s very true in childhood. We judge ourselves, in childhood, by external factors.
I would want to lift the self-examination part of the 12-step programme and implement it, perhaps, in schools. It would teach children to be confident in themselves, to believe in themselves, without pressure from their peer group.
"Implementing a version of the 12-step programme could teach young people to take responsibility "
I’ve been a detective and I’ve been in the police force. There is often a pattern with people and criminality. When people open up to me about their innermost fears, which always drive criminality, you can see how governments cannot have a short-term solution for crime.
The 12-step programme is all about change, which for young people can be hard, particularly when talking about addiction. So implementing it young can teach people to take responsibility for themselves, instead of just locking people away.
6. Prevent air pollution
I would want to ensure that we, as a world, have clean air to breathe. It’s so essential to have clean air to protect public health and to protect the environment. I would cut back, as much as possible, on everything that pollutes our air.
Jackie Malton: A Life In Crime will premiere on CBS Reality at 10 pm on Tuesday 14th November. CBS Reality is available on Freeview (67), Sky (146), Virgin (148) and Freesat (135)
Banner credit: Jackie Malton (CBS Reality)
Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter
Loading up next...