Try a free sample of our 1-hour police drama | DailyStep English

Try a free sample of our 1-hour police drama


  Smithers & Boyle Investigate   

by Brendan O'Connell at


(click here to open vocabulary notes)


It’s eight thirty in the morning at Oldtown Police Station. It’s raining heavily outside, it’s always raining heavily[1] in Oldtown and one particular[2] persistent[3] cloud sits above the police station drenching[4] whoever[5] comes in or out. Inspector[6] Boyle is sat at his desk[7] with a cup of coffee in one hand and a cigarette in the other. His desk is covered with papers and take away food[8] wrappers. He looks agitated[9] and appears to be in a worse mood[10] than normal, if that’s possible! Smithers walks into Boyle’s office looking like a drowned rat[11] . His raincoat is soaked[12] and drops of water are running down[13]his face like tears, but it would take more than a rainy day to dampen P C Smithers’ spirit[14] . He hangs up his wet raincoat[15] and, with his customary[16] optimistic[17]smile, greets the inspector good day[18].

Good morning Inspector Boyle. It’s a beautiful day again, Sir.

No, Smithers, it’s not a good morning and it’s not a beautiful day. A body[19] has been found[20] in East Town..

A body! A dead body Sir?

Yes of course it’s a dead body Smithers. When was the last time anyone reported a live body for heaven’s sake[21] ? Now have my squad car[22] brought round[23] and let’s get down to[24] the scene of the crime[25] to find out what the hell’s going on[26] .

Yes Sir. Right away[27] Sir.

What do they find?..

Learn more about Smithers & Boyle

Here is Audio Word Study #045 from Jane Lawson at


How to address the police, and slang words for the police


This week I’m going to teach you a few words related to the police. You will certainly hear many of these words in TV and radio detective shows, and of course in Smithers and Boyle Investigate, our 1-hour Police Comedy Drama on


How to address a police officer

The best thing to call a police officer, either male or female, is Officer. So, if a policeman stops you in your car, you wind down the window and say “Can I help you, Officer?


If you are writing to a police officer, you should try to address him or her by the correct rank. The main police rank in Britain is Police Constable, usually abbreviated to PC. So if you were writing to the characters in Smithers & Boyle Investigate, you would address Smithers as ‘Dear PCSmithers’, and Boyle as ‘Dear Inspector Boyle.’


The ranks of police officers, from low to high, are:

Police Constable, Sergeant, Inspector, Chief Inspector, Superintendent and Chief Superintendent


Of course, these are the names that the Police would prefer you to use. But there are a lot of other names that they are called too, especially by law breakers!



Meaning: Police officer. This word is a little old fashioned and is polite. The word Bobby comes from the name of the politician Robert Peel, who established the modern police force in the early 1800s. Bobby is a common nickname for people called Robert. The phrase ‘a bobby on the beat’ means ‘a policeman patrolling the local area on foot.’


Cop / Copper

Meaning: Police Officer. Copper is quite rude and used in British English. You do not call a policeman a ‘copper’ to his face! Cop is more American and is not rude.


Here are some rude slang names for the police. You will definitely hear them in films and on TV, but make sure you don’t use them in front of an police officer or you might get nicked (in other words, arrested.)

The Old Bill The Pigs The Rozzers The Filth The Fuzz


Listen to some of them here, when Smithers and Boyle try to catch a gang of criminals:

Criminal 1: “Oh no, it’s the Old Bill!”

Criminal 2: “What do you want, copper?”

Inspector Boyle: “Is that your van?”

Criminal 2: “What’s it got to do with you, copper?”


As you can hear in this extract, the accents of both the criminals and Inspector Boyle are very different from mine. They both have cockney accents, from East London.


That is all for Audio Word Study #045 on

Here is Audio Proverb #044 from Jane Lawson at .

.. .

Procrastination is the thief of time.

. .
Meaning: If you procrastinate – in other words, if you delay doing what you should be doing by filling your time with other things - then you are just wasting time.

. .

Example: Sally: “Why are you polishing your windows? They are already very clean!”

Jane: “Well, I am supposed be doing my tax return but I just can’t seem to start, so I keep cleaning the windows instead.”

Sally: “Well, you know what they say – procrastination is the thief of time! The sooner you start your tax return, the sooner it will be finished! Cleaning the windows is just procrastination!.

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