It’s Howard’s first day on duty as a newly-qualified police special constable. As the standout star of training, Howard will be the focus of a training video about the first day on the beat for a special constable and he’s hell-bent on providing some juicy material to make Nick’s video terrific and to boost his own image. When Howard reports for duty, he sees his old training buddy Spencer there too – they’re starting on the same day!
When Rob shows up for his shift, he’s surprised to see Howard there, but Rob takes Spencer out on patrol while he introduces Howard to the calmer PC Beth Jackson. Howard is appalled when they find a group of kids with some marijuana and Beth lets them off. Howard is frustrated, both at the leniency on crime but also that he’s not providing Nick with any good material. To make things worse, Spencer’s just had his first arrest; of a mugging suspect!
Things seems to be looking up for Howard when he and Beth do a reccie of a building where the perpetrator of a hit and run is reportedly holed up. Howard uses all of his Army training to devise a professional plan of attack to prevent the criminal from escaping and is praised by Rob – and then told he’s not participating in the raid! Instead, he has to listen in to the radio chatter as the raid goes down successfully and Spencer apprehends the criminal.
A frustrated Howard is assigned to guard the suspect at St Phil’s when he spies a young woman, Clare, shoplifting from a florists. He abandons his post to give the woman a caution, and in doing so allows the criminal to escape from the hospital. Howard is dressed down by Beth and left fuming. At the end of a hard day, Howard goes home and gorges himself on a bucket of fried chicken in a fit of self-loathing.