Three of Leicestershire Police’s youngest officers are the subject of a new BBC Three docuseries set to hit TV screens. Fresh Cops will feature everything from criminals jumping out of two storey windows, to members of the public attacking camera crews as they follow the officers in their day to day lives patrolling the streets of Leicester.
Adam Ahmed, 27, 23-year-old Khadeejah Mansur and 25-year-old Jake Bull will star in Fresh Cops – a docuseries filmed from the perspective of the young recruits in their 20s as they learn the ropes, while also revealing the realities of life on the frontline and the diverse communities they serve. Leicestershire Live sat down with the officers to hear what it was like being part of the documentary.
Adam has worked for the police for seven years. He tested the waters as a special constable – someone who has all the same privileges as an officer, but works on an unpaid, voluntary basis before becoming a full time officer.
He said that his desire to take part in the documentary came from wanting to relinquish apprehensions viewers may have surrounding the police. “I’m a firm believer that in order for a police service to be effective and efficient, it must reflect the community that it serves,” he said.
“When I joined I was pretty much the only Somali police officer, which is crazy considering Leicester’s large Somali community. There are a lot of misconceptions regarding the police – especially within the Somali community, so being a part of the series enables people to see that we aren’t all bad and that there is a place for people like us in those kind of jobs.”
The stars of Fresh Cops will give viewers insight into the life of a young police officer
“A typical day of filming consisted of the crew rocking up half an hour before the officers. They would come to every call or job we went to – I’d call them my miniature stalkers. Even on the days I’d finish late doing admin, they’d stay with me because they didn’t want to miss anything.”
Adam admitted that working and filming became a real balancing act, because of instances where crew members were being assaulted by people who were being arrested. He said: “One incident that took place while filming, was when I did a simple stop and search. It should have taken me about five minutes, but ended in me having to put a man to the floor because he tried to go after the film crew.”
“We had to be mindful of protecting the film crew, completing risk assessments and making sure no harm came to them.”
At just 23-years-old, Khadeejah made history as the first frontline police officer to wear the hijab as part of her uniform. But despite her impact, Khadeejah admitted that she did not always want to be a police officer.
She said: “Up until two years ago, I worked as a digital marketer; being office-based, doing a 9-5 became boring and so I wanted to do something different. It was important that whatever I did next enabled me to work with communities and actual people and to not constantly be stuck inside.”
Khadeejah praised the police force as a whole and wanted to encourage viewers who are interested, that it is a team worth joining, saying: “The message I want to send is that we are a very diverse force and that nothing is going to stop you no matter your background, race or religion.”
Jake Bull currently works for the Child Criminal Exploitation department – cracking down on adults involving minors in criminal activities such as violence and drug dealing. Jake has worked for Leicestershire Police for two years and admitted that he was initially anxious initially being in front of a film crew.
“We are all human and we naturally make mistakes, so being in front of a camera while doing your job, does put you under a lot more scrutiny. Although I was nervous at first, the camera crew was so friendly and supportive, so that it eased the pressure.”
“The series was a great opportunity and was something I really enjoyed being involved with. During the filming process, we made good friends with the camera crew – and the experience was a learning curve for them to learn from us, and us to learn about them and the work they do.”
Jake continued: “We know that a lot of people hate the police, so being part of the show enables us to show young people that we are not robots, but we are also real people with human emotions, too. When we take the uniform off, we are just like everyone else.”