The Bill – All in Good Faith

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All in Good Faith shows the sharp delineation between two very different types of coppers – on the one hand there’s Ramsey and Roach, on the other are Frazer and Conway.

Frazer calls Ramsey in for a chat.  She’s concerned about his attitude – seven members of the public have made complaints about him this year alone.  Given his faintly contemptuous and sarcastic attitude in front of her, it’s easy to see that he takes this same persona onto the streets.  Ramsey doesn’t disagree, telling her that he treats people the same way others treat him – which isn’t really what she wants to hear.

He can’t resist adding that a frontline policeman is always going to be the subject of complaints which someone like her, with little or no experience of policing on the streets, will never be able to understand.  This conflict – between the sharp end and the executive level – has been played out numerous times across multiple police series.

We also see it again with Roach and Conway.  Ted Roach’s time as acting DI is going fairly smoothly (he’s off the drink for one thing) but the wheels start to come off when a gun handed in at a recent amnesty is tied back to a man called Duffy (Leslie Schofield) and linked to a crime which occurred five years ago.

Ted is keen to go round and nick him, but never stops to consider the nature of an amnesty.  Conway decides that for the sake of community relations it wouldn’t be a good idea to arrest Duffy (if they did, the public would lose all faith in future weapons amnesties) but Roach ignores him and nicks him anyway.

Conway and Frazer discuss Ted, with Frazer musing that “surely he must understand there’s more to police work than arresting people, we have to gain the public’s cooperation and respect.”

However when Ted brings Duffy in, Frazer is more forgiving.  “We’re sadly lacking good practical officers, with all his faults I wouldn’t like to see Roach get into trouble over this.  I’m positive he’d make a good DI”.  Conway then makes a revealing statement – as long as Brownlow is in charge at Sun Hill, Roach will never rise above his current status as DS.

All in Good Faith adds a little more meat to the bones of Ramsey’s character, whilst also throwing the spotlight on Conway and Frazer.  Conway is shown to be more of a politician than a thief-taker, but in his position – where he has to face both public and political pressure – that’s understandable.  Frazer’s character traits are teased out nicely – it’s difficult to say whether she or Ramsey came off best during their meeting (both made fairly valid points) but she seems more able to straddle both sides of the fence (a desire to catch criminals allied to the realisation that they need the respect and cooperation of the public) than Conway does.

One thought on “The Bill – All in Good Faith

  1. An interesting character thread that was planted in this episode is that Ted Roach would never become a substantive Detective Inspector despite his success at feeling ‘collars’.

    Roach’s bitterness and frustration at not getting his ‘pips’ would eventually lead to his character’s dramatic departure from Sun Hill in 1993.


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