The ongoing Coronation Street grooming storyline has, as we all know, been pretty controversial and left viewers divided.
But the latest twist, that one of Bethany’s abusers – Nathan’s creepy pal Neil Clifton – is a police officer has left some viewers fizzing.
They believe the shock plot twist could have an impact on those people going through similar experiences to Bethany.
They fear that victims will now be too scared to report such abuse to the authorities, worried that they too could actually be involved in sex grooming rings.
One Corrie viewer wrote on Manchester Evening News’s Facebook page that she was fed up with the storyline and expressed her concerns about exposing a policeman as an abuser: “Come on Corrie enough is enough is enough. I know you’re trying to highlight the situation but come on.
“If people who are watching this may be going through the same thing, what are they SUPPOSED to think, that you’re not even safe going to the police station?”
Another agreed, adding: “Not a great message to send out that you’re not safe reporting to police.”
Yet another viewer commented: “Absolutely ridiculous. Theoretically this could happen but they need to end this storyline and making the public hate the police and bringing that twist into it is just a bad move.
“The police do an amazing job with grooming of youngsters. And this storyline is likely to discourage youngsters from going to the police surely the exact opposite of what they want the storyline to encourage?”
Now Corrie bosses have been forced to speak up to calm things down and have assured viewers that at some point soon Nathan and his crew of motley perverts will eventually get their comeuppance and face the consequence of their actions.
Tackling this tough issue hasn’t been done lightly for the Corrie production team.
Wary of the sensitive nature of the plot, Corrie bosses have worked closely with child protection charities and Greater Manchester Police.
Although the plot has been criticised by many viewers it has also been praised by others for tackling such a sensitive subject head on.
Corrie fan Amanda Leigh, also writing on the MEN Facebook page, said that she thought the twist was a clever one: “They are showing that you can be in any profession and be in a paedophile ring. They will also show that there are ways to report it even if one is an officer.
“These things go on for so long that Corrie can’t just have it done and dusted in a few months.”
Another viewer called Sarah Heap said she hoped the soap will show what would happen when it’s revealed that one of the abusers is a copper.
“Everyone saying it will make people scared to go to the police needs to calm down. We don’t know exactly what is going to happen when she discovers he’s a police officer.
“Hopefully she still goes ahead and reports it, they all get locked up including the police officer, showing that regardless of what profession the person is in they will still get their comeuppance, so anyone that is going through this will feel they can still report it whether they are a policeman or not.”
But for those of us who want the harrowing storyline to get wrapped up quickly, we have bad news. According to producers, there’s still some way to go and Bethany will endure much worse before things get better.