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New Leicestershire Police recruit speaks about TV debut

A Leicestershire Police officer has spoken out about her experience of staring in the latest series of BBC Three’s ‘Fresh Cops’, which follows young officers round the clock and shows viewers the daily challenges they face.

PC Philippa Blakeley was called up to star in ‘Fresh Cops’ just weeks after starting her career with Leicestershire Police in March 2023 after somewhat reluctantly taking a screen test.

Leicester Time: New Leicestershire Police recruit speaks about TV debut
Picture: BBC

She says: “Jenny in Fresh Cops was my mentor and she told me about it. I did the screen test and there I was, three weeks into my career working alongside a film crew.

“It was ridiculous,” she laughs. “I was moving from a 9 to 5 job to doing shifts starting at the crack of dawn or through the middle of the night and I was being filmed. It was intense but I enjoyed it far more than I ever thought I would.

“Looking back now it was a real privilege. I can remember exactly how I felt when I watch the incidents back on the TV and I can also see how much I have progressed within the police force and personally.

“My colleagues have even said how much I have developed in my career and I feel like a completely different person to what I was when filming started.”

Leicester Time: New Leicestershire Police recruit speaks about TV debut

The most memorable moment for Philippa came in episode two of the new series.

“This bloke was wanted for criminal damage and he ran away from us Jenny and I had to chase after him on foot and then put him in handcuffs. He was trying to bite us and kick out at us and it was chaos. But looking back at that scene in the programme I realised I was totally in control.

“People talk a lot about the physical side of policing and you do ask ‘am I strong enough and fit enough to cope’. But I thought ‘you know what Phil you can do this’. Just because I am not 6ft tall and broad shouldered it doesn’t mean I am any less capable.”

So would Philippa recommend policing as a career?

“If someone was to ask me about joining the police force, I would say ‘just do it’. It has definitely changed my life for the better. For me, it is the feeling of being part of the police family that I enjoy and the variety. No two days are the same. It is a career like no other.

“My aspiration is to be a good police officer and remain as a police officer for as long as I feel I am learning and developing. That is something which is really important to me.

“I want to try everything out – such as working in traffic, or in the dog handling team, or in firearms and detective work – as we have the opportunities to do that and I want to see which aspects of these jobs I really enjoy.

“I want to do that over the next five years and then make a more informed decision about how I see my career progressing in the force.”