This film is part of Free


Ever wondered what it’s like to spend 24 hours in the RUC? Watch this 1976 recruitment film and decide if this was the career for you.

Documentary 1976 26 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Northern Ireland Screen


It’s an early start and a long day ahead, from the criminal to the civic there’s plenty to keep the Royal Ulster Constabulary busy. Despite the historical context of this recruitment film there are few hints of ‘the Troubles’. Instead join trainees as they learn to testify in court and read pub landlords their rights in role-playing exercises. As the sun sets, discover there is more than one way for the blue flashing lights to keep young people off the streets and out of trouble.

This recruitment film intended for schools, universities and general audiences, portrays ‘normal’ rather than the ‘militarized’ policing emerging in Northern Ireland. Released the same year that Merlyn Rees announced in the House of Commons a review of security policy recommending the RUC take over responsibilities for security from the British Army. Both the RUC and Ulster Defence Regiment expanded so that the number of British troops could be reduced; the number of police fatalities also increased with this new frontline role. Rees’s policy of Police Primacy, known as ‘Ulsterisation’, was criticised by both the Unionist and Nationalist communities. This material is Courtesy of the UTV Archive.