In the first episode of a six-part special, Sergeant Smith becomes the victim of a knife attack after what appears to be a silly fight between two schoolgirls escalates into horrifying violence. Pc Nate Roberts is on duty at Deansgate School, where the art room has been torched. Nate's attracted to art teacher Becky James but not to the job of Safer Schools Officer, the task he's assigned by Inspector Rachel Weston. In the playground, two pupils, Kadisha Watts and Jasmin Clark, are laying into each other and Nate pulls them apart. Kadisha hints that Jasmin is the person who set fire to the art room. Then Nate receives a tip-off that the girls are going to continue their fight in a local park... Smithy joins Nate and when they both arrive at the scene, they find Kadisha being attacked not by Jasmin but by Michael Clark and Karl Peters. Nate loses Michael but Smithy catches Karl, who pulls out a knife and stabs him in the chest. An ambulance rushes Smithy to hospital. Back at Sun Hill, a devastated Nate sees red when Michael is brought into custody. Investigations eventually reveal why the classroom was torched and why Kadisha was attacked. Nate comes to realise that Deansgate desperately needs a Safer School's Officer - but is he the man for the job?
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.