PART of the attraction of Blue Lights (BBC iPlayer) is that it stars the PSNI and was shot in Belfast. The final episode was last Monday, but all  six episodes are available on iPlayer, and  now they’ve promised (for better or worse) a second series.

At the core of the first series are three probation constables: Grace, a former social worker in her 40s from England;  a young constable called Tommy who always has a fancy packed lunch; and a young Catholic  constable called Annie who plays camogie and is cagey about telling people what her job is. Will they make it through the probationary period? Or will they be disillusioned?

One good reason for being disillusioned is that MI5 undercover agents keep turning up and spoiling the PSNI’s efforts to enforce the law, particularly with drug-dealers like the McIntyres.

In the final episode the PSNI arrest two people who they think are dangerous criminals, but – would you believe it? – after the couple are arrested (for dangerous driving), it turns out they are in fact MI5 agents and must be released. Frustrating or what? Grace in particular is hungry for “a different way” of doing things that doesn’t protect criminals. Or a way where the PSNI doesn’t get stoned when it lingers in nationalist areas.

The McIntyres have killed a loveable PSNI veteran officer called Gerry, but  MI5 plan to give two of the McIntyre family a new life. Da James opts for taking his son with him, leaving his wife to make her own way. Alas, the PSNI finally get some higher-ups in MI5 to call the deal off, and a surprised da and son find themselves arrested and imprisoned. 

At the end of the last episode there’s a ‘One Month Later’ sequence which shows the probationary constables have opted for service and comradeship rather than despair or promotion. 

As a police series it’s not bad, especially when you recognise some of the locations in which events occur (I particularly liked the shoot-out at the back of Belfast Central Library). Although there’s cynicism and burn-out in the PSNI, overall it’s presented as an organisation with its heart in the right place and where progress is being made, thanks to  the courage and compassion of lower-down-the-ladder officers. 

The final scene shows Tommy and Grace in a squad car sharing Tommy’s yummy lunch, but then the message comes through that there’s "an altercation on Lagan Way" and it’s back to wailing sirens and flashing blue lights. A policeman’s lot may not be a happy one, but Blue Lights Blue bathes the PSNI in a warm glow,  showing our police service doing its very best in difficult circumstances.  

How far that’s true to life is, of course,  another question.