Grand Theft Auto V goes to great lengths to make being a monstrous criminal fun. It’s kind of the whole point of the series. But the glorious thing about sandbox games is that unexpected things can happen. For instance, a bunch of players might decide to play the game as London’s Metropolitan Police Service.
There is such a group, in fact. GTA5’s modding community has created countless additions to the base game, and while in most cases these make the game even weirder, an industrious few have devoted themselves to recreating The Met in all its glory, down to the hi-viz jackets, checkerboard hatbands, and the sirens on their Volvo patrol cars.
Here is our list of the best mods out there for Grand Theft Auto V.
There is a highly dedicated group of GTA players whose desire to play as the police goes far deeper than modding, though. Many play as Los Santos Police Department officers, using the LSPDFR mod. Some have gone an extra step, using LSPDFR as a basis for recreating London’s Met.
Wired spoke to YouTuber Albo1125, whose channel is packed with videos of astonishingly mundane British law enforcement procedure carried out in exacting detail in Grand Theft Auto. Speeders are pulled over and calmly asked for their license and insurance information. A drug dealer on a moped is pursued and taken into custody. Officers search suspects for contraband.
All the while, there’s radio chatter from other players in the game, providing additional information or call-outs of new incidents to respond to. It’s all done with an exacting attention to detail, with players role-playing as Met officers and dispatchers, following procedure and law down to the letter.
Here’s an example. As a motorcycle officer, Albo pulls over a driver using a mobile phone. While he’s conducting the stop, someone runs by with a knife. It all unfolds with a degree of realism that’s startling to see in GTA.
Albo is a British university student, and he tells Wired that part of his interest in recreating Metropolitan police stops on his YouTube channel and roleplaying group is because he quickly grew tired of GTA V’s more fantastical action-movie car chases and shootouts. Another part is to help rebuild public empathy for emergency services personnel, who he says get more than their share of unfair criticism.
Wired’s story is a fascinating look at a strangely specific group of role-players and modders, and it’s well worth a weekend read. And it’s also a good reminder to make sure your brake lights are in good working order.