Meet Sun Hill’s First Coppers

Many coppers would come and go over the years, but these were some of the first faces we saw at Sun Hill…

The Bill


A clean, idealistic, fresh-faced pup in a PC's uniform, the Jim Carver we first see at Sun Hill is a far cry from the craggy, world-weary, emotionally damaged copper he'll go onto become. That's not to say he doesn't have a rocky start, though. On his very first day on the beat, he gets into trouble for being a bit heavy handed with a random yob - an early sign of Carver's rigid, black-and-white sense of morality. His relationship with June Ackland is warm from the start, paving the way for an epic will-they-won't-they love story that will have us sighing and clutching our foreheads for many years to come.


Introduced as Jim Carver's designated babysitter when he joined Sun Hill, June Ackland goes onto become one of the station's most trusted and recognisable faces. While she's decent through and through, it doesn't quite do her justice to simply describe her as a paragon of virtue, because that makes her sound a bit drippy. June actually has a hard edge to her, and is subject to the same temptations and lusts as anyone else. Indeed, her emotions can get the better of her, and in one of her early encounters she almost leaves Sun Hill after getting embroiled in a squalid case involving porn and prostitution.


Yes, Sun Hill stalwart Reg Hollis was indeed there from the very start. A somewhat hapless loner, poor old Reg was bullied by fellow pupils and even the teachers when he was at school, which may account for his endearing awkwardness as a grown-up. Getting on with the dull, menial tasks other officers would never want to do, Reg Hollis is, however, a bit of a dark horse, and will eventually show his worth as a brave and skilled beat copper who's a dab hand at disarming gunmen. Who could have guessed?


His real name is PC Francis Edwards, but his colleagues call him Taffy. Or by a rather less flattering nickname, "the thin streak of Welsh misery". The thing is, Taffy can actually be rather charming and likeable, and the worst he's really guilty of is being a bit of a skiver at times. Despite his inherent laziness, he's well-liked by his fellow coppers, and plays a key role in the early years at Sun Hill.


Why is Tony Smith known as Yorkie? Because he's from Yorkshire, and because the Sun Hill crew will never get points for originality when it comes to nicknames. Big and strong, with a body hewn from years on the rugby field, Yorkie is the kind of copper you definitely want having your back in any confrontation with East End yobs and hooligans. That said, he's a bit of a softie at heart, and constantly bearing witness to the murky side of human nature does take its toll on the poor lamb.


Some coppers are cast in the tough Sweeney mould, others are more Dixon of Dock Green. Bob Cryer is very firmly in the latter camp: an old fashioned, old school, gentlemanly copper, who acts as a surrogate father to many of the young uniformed scamps at Sun Hill. Free from any ambition to rise in the ranks, Cryer is comfortable where he is in the police food chain. And, while he can come across as a bit morose or grumpy at times, he's ultimately one of the most reliable and up-standing officers at the station. Don't be fooled by his gentle demeanour, though - the man knows how to use a weapon, and, as we'll one day see, he has perfect aim.


Sun Hill in the early 80s, like the rest of the country, isn't exactly the most progressive, enlightened and forward-thinking environment for working women. Fortunately, Viv Martella is as tough as they come, and doesn't take any bigoted nonsense from male colleagues. Casual chauvinism may be rife among coppers, but Viv bats away the snide remarks and sleazy come-ons, often with a smile that disarms even the most obnoxious admirer. A forthright, pragmatic woman with a dash of Mediterranean passion in her veins, she's an asset to Sun Hill and the mean streets around her.


With his shock of red hair and fiery personality, Roy Galloway is a force to be reckoned with at Sun Hill. He's arguably justified in being so brash - after all, he did become inspector at a very young age. The man takes risks, and they often pay off, and he probably sees himself as some kind of heroic crusader - a modern day Eliot Ness, if you will. While he's undeniably effective, his gambles can also go badly wrong, and an early skirmish with local drug dealers even leads to the murder of an informant, which weighs on Galloway's conscience.