Eight million of us may have been glued to Line of Duty over the past six weeks, with its hard-hitting storyline involving an undercover police investigation into the brutal activities of an Organised Crime Group (OCG).

But a shocking report published yesterday proves there’s nothing fictional about the grip this type of criminal behaviour has got on the whole country – even in places such as ‘sleepy’ Dorset where it’s costing every family in the county an estimated £2,000 a year.

According to the National Crime Agency (NCA), the main organisation co-ordinating and tackling this type of activity, there are at least 181,000 criminals linked to Serious Organised Crime (SOC), more than double the number of people in the British Army.

SOC – which includes an assortment of activities, from money-laundering to modern slavery, banking and money-exchange fraud, human trafficking for sex work, drug smuggling and dealing through so-called ‘county lines’, systematic child sex abuse and cyber crime – costs the country an estimated £650 million every week.

NCA Director General Lynne Owens said: “Serious and organised crime in the UK is chronic and corrosive, its scale is truly staggering.

“It kills more people every year than terrorism, war and natural disasters combined.

"SOC affects more UK citizens, more frequently than any other national security threat. And it costs the UK at least £37bn a year – equivalent to nearly £2,000 per family.

“Enhancing our capabilities is critical to our national security. If we don’t, the whole of UK law enforcement, and therefore the public, will feel the consequences.”

The report shows that Dorset has a number of vulnerabilities which could be exploited by OCG members, including ‘border exploitation’ from roll-on-roll off ferries and airports where planes can operate to ‘unpublished schedules’,

“Over the last year there has been a surge in numbers exploiting general maritime routes to facilitate organised immigration crime,” said the NCA, which says this poses 'a significant threat to life’.

Prisons are another significant vulnerability, particularly when inmates can deal in drugs or contraband such as mobile phones, which facilitates yet more crime.

Dorset has three prisons and in March it was discovered that OCG members had smuggled mobile phones and drugs including Spice into HMP Guy's Marsh. The contraband was sewn inside the bodies of dead rats.

Superintendent Pete Little, of Dorset Police, said: “Dorset Police remains committed to tackling organised criminality, working in partnership with the National Crime Agency and other partners, including trading standards, HMRC, the Prison Service, Border Force and Immigration Enforcement.

“We actively target and seek to disrupt those crime groups who exploit the vulnerable through child sexual abuse and exploitation, trafficking, servitude or fraud or those causing harm in our local communities through the supply of drugs or weapons.”