Raw Blues

Some might say the Metropolitan Police Service is in crisis. In the wake of the Lawrence Inquiry and accusations of racism, corruption andd incompetence abound the numbers of recruits wanting to join the Metropolitan Police Service is dropping.

The pressure is on the Met's training school to produce a different kind of police officer - "SuperCops". In an atmosphere of distrust and suspicion, these men and women will have to do one of the most difficult jobs in Britain, without prejudice, and in the full glare of publicity.

This programme follows the progress of a group of new recruits from their arrival at the Met's Training School at Hendon in October 1999, until they start work on the streets just 18 weeks later.

Twenty-Four year-old Clare Keating was treated so well by police when she was arrested as a youngster thaty she's decided she wants to join up herself. "I know I cant change everybody's image of the police on my own", says Clare, "but if I can change one person's perception I will be happy."

Clare's fellow classmates include Mike Walsh, who has a degree from one of Britain's top Universities; 23-year-old Mancunian Craig Jones; and Harrinder Bubbra, from Leeds, who doesn't believe what he reads in the papers about the Met, although his parents aren't so sure. "Anybody from an Asian background will know that all your parents ever want you to be is a doctor, a lawyer or a solicitor," says Harrinder. "The last thing they want you to be is a police officer."

Its a tough course and the recruits face an overwhelming workload and strict discipline at the training school. "We're not training people to work in a supermarket," says Commander Cullen who's in charge of training at Hendon. "They have a huge responsibility which no other person in society has... and that is a heavy weight on any young person's shoulders."

Genre: Documentary

Running Time: 30 minutes (approx)