IN theory, we should know what it takes to be a police officer - after all, it’s not like there’s been a shortage of cop dramas on our screens over the years. Yet no matter how many hours of The Bill you may have sat through, this documentary series is here to remind you that the reality of patrolling the beat can still take would-be officers by surprise.
Rookies, which began last week, follows a group of 24 ordinary people from a variety of backgrounds who have made the life-changing decision to become officers. They’ll be guarding the mean streets of Lincolnshire, which despite being England’s second largest county has one of its smallest police forces
As we discovered in the first episode, they’ve already had to overcome difficult odds to get to this stage - over the past four years, the force hasn’t be able to afford many new recruits, so they faced stiff competition from thousands of other applicants.
And despite their dedication, training manager Phil was still concerned that some of them might be in for a tough time. He said: “I still think some people get here not knowing what to expect. They have an idealised view of what they think it takes to become a police officer...
“You’re going to have dark days. There’s going to be stuff that’s really traumatic and trying. It’s going to put pressure on the individuals, put pressure on their families. So I think if they’re here for any other reason than to help people, they’re going to struggle.”
In this second episode, the trainees get a clearer idea of what they have let themselves in for, as they discover that in the police force, learning on the job can mean making mistakes in front of a very critical public.