Outside in the dark a girl screams. Inside the tall flats she is heard and ignored. It is half an hour before one man puts out a reluctant hand to dial 999.
Two men in a parked car - and the beginning of a night Lynch and Graham will talk about all their lives. The eventual haul is so good it even induces Barlow to stand drinks for the duo.
The grimy cafe down by the docks is keeping pretty busy as usual. The juke-box is giving out the latest sounds of the Mersey Beat at full volume; the youngsters are sitting around drinking strong tea out of thick mugs. But there is one customer at McKinley's who doesn't seem to fit in. That is Brayne, the old tramp. He has no money for tea, but he is wearing an expensive overcoat and a business gent's bowler hat. Smith and Weir get really involved when they try to find the reason.
To the young Mrs. Napier the man at the door seems anything but sinister, just buying old gold. But his method of purchase leaves something to be desired.
Alby Rafferty, an over-zealous car enthusiast, is not past redemption according to John Watt. But Watt is not the only influence in Alby's life. So when Mr. Cull's shiny new white car is driven off from under his nose, it is not for use in a robbery - just Alby indulging his passion.
"What's all the fuss about then?" asks Fancy Smith when he and Jock Weir are called to a case of shoplifting. "Cause maybe there's something else too," replies Jock. And as the men of Z-Victor One discover, something else, something much more sinister, there most certainly is.
A passing car and a radio message lead Graham and Baker to a particular club with interesting results. DC Lynch, meanwhile, has the job of finding the leader of a gang specialising in quick break-ins and small but profitable hauls of liquor and cigarettes. It is his most important case yet and he pins his hopes on a hunch that takes him to London.
Two crimes - same place, same time - and Smith and weir are ready and able to deal with them.
Sgt. Blackitt sets off to give a first aid demonstration at a youth club where trouble is in the air. Jigger Daniels, released from Borstal, is back in town and has a few old scores to settle. Meanwhile Lynch has his own problems. Someone is going around Newtown stealing transistor radios from parked cars, and Barlow is in one of his 'leave no stone unturned' moods.
A friendly call on a neighbour turns into a sudden nightmare for a young housewife. She dials 999. Fancy Smith, alone in Z-Victor One, is sent to investigate and finds himself in a situation that would tax the patience of a priest and a psychologist combined.
A sudden death in Newtown brings the new man, Detective Superintendent Prentiss, from Headquarters. And before the investigation is closed he makes his presence very much felt.
When the only witnesses disagree Sergeant Watt settles for the most likely suspect - with surprising results.
Investigating a reported disturbance, Dave Graham finds it is one more skirmish in a running war fought with stones between the boys of a local school and old Lewis, an eccentric character who lives in the house opposite. It's not long before Sgt. Blackitt appears on the scene. When he is followed by Sgt. Watt Graham has little to do but sit in the car and watch.
It's a lively evening for Smith and Weir. First they have to try and cope with a woman who is charging her husband with an unusual theft. Then they have to intervene when two dockers engage in a punch-up, deal with a pensioner who thinks that the police are trying to steal his money, and finally confront a Scots tearaway who is handy with a shovel but is more interested in the works of Sir Walter Scott.
An old lady is assaulted and robbed. She manages to struggle home to her companion and soon both the cars and DCI Barlow are on the scene.
New Year's Eve in Newtown means a three-line whip for the lads on the cars. Everyone has to be on the job to cope with the drunks, the rowdy parties and aggression in the pubs. Then there is the thief using the occasion to carry out some quiet breaking and entering, and the teenage girl, daughter of a loveless home, looking for brief happiness by running away with a sailor.
A bus load of witnesses - and not one with a voice. Pub closing time in Newtown has come to mean more than the problem of drunken passengers for the men who crew the buses on route no. 86. It has come to be a time to be feared - a time when violence strikes.
Some parents' trouble is that they protect their children too much.
Lynch is on the trail of an artist of a thief who broke into the Seaport Supermarket.
In any community you'll find a few people who are out of alignment - and all too often they find themselves involved with the police.
The suspicions of a canal lock-keeper bring Z-Victor One into contact with the canal community and eventually lead to the investigation of a more serious crime.
A lost constable, but Sgt. Watt refuses to join his colleagues in jumping to conclusions. PC Boyle has been transferred to Newtown with a black mark on his record. Everyone knows why, and only John Watt is convinced of Boyle's good character.
Barlow accepts a favour from a local trader - and his integrity becomes suspect.
A child cries, and family man PC Baker finds himself getting too involved.
Two men carry off a mechanical shovel from a building site.
When No. 18 alarm bell rings in Newtown station Watt and Blackitt brace themselves for trouble. For No. 18 is Mercer's Universal Stores and Mr. Mercer is a notoriously difficult character.
A doctor is accused of indecent assault, and Barlow is faced with the problem of evidence. And when a jailbird is found in possession of a stolen watch it looks to Lynch like an open and shut case. In both cases, however, there is a lack of conclusive evidence.
Baker and Graham take time out for a snack, but there's no let up when the division is invaded by Scots football fans. Jock Weir becomes more than usually involved.
A child witnesses a crime against her father, but her mother refuses to co-operate with the police. Fancy's always uncertain temper reaches boiling point.
A particularly nasty wave of 'flu has decimated the staff at Newtown with Barlow and Blackitt among the victims. To add to the problems Weir and Baker are away sitting examinations, so a temporary team of Smith and Graham are manning Z_Victor One. They investigate when a baby is found abandoned in a cafe, while Watt and Lynch cope with a mysterious outbreak of garden gate stealing on the North Estate.
Personal radio comes to Newtown - with disastrous results.
Toby, a man high up on the ledge of a derelict warehouse, is likely to jump off at the mere sight of a uniform. It is up to Bert Lynch, desperately anxious not to reveal himself as a policeman, to gain Toby's confidence and talk him down.
Some people will pinch anything - and sometimes they get more than they bargained for!
Graham and Baker set out to look for a stolen car but instead come upon a far less trivial incident. Someone has disappeared and the disappearance may be permanent. Barlow has no choice but to call in the 'heavy brigade' from Headquarters.
It's time for the share-out from one of Newtown's holiday savings clubs. £18,000 is in club funds. John Watt has to give protection to the money overnight. PCs Walker and Foster take turns in standing guard, but when the dawn comes and the money leaves for the share-out all is not well.
Three suspects arrive in the Newtown area. Graham and Baker are instructed to warn them off. Lynch, using a different approach, finds himself drinking with them all evening. Then two of the interlopers are found in a crashed car surrounded by very valuable antiques. The case is important enough to keep Barlow working on his day off.
When two masked men terrorise the wife of a bookmaker and rob his safe it looks like a local job, and only hours after his release from prison Henry McNeil is picked up in a stolen car. But as Barlow remarks, a pro like McNeil will be caught only with his hands in the till.
Victor Division prepares for a Royal visit, but crime doesn't stop for the occasion. Lynch makes a mistake and is left fumbling for excuses and a need for action. His conscience will not easily let him forget his day in Market Square.
PC Foster, helped by ex-boxer Len Phillips, breaks up a gang of youngsters blocking the pavement. His unnecessarily rough treatment of the rowdies comes to the attention of Sgt. Blackitt, who sets about putting his house in order.
The police have to deal with depravity in all its guises - both of the body and of the mind.
Watt, Blackitt and Smith try to help Benny Dunn. Benny's mam won't let him into the house; he has nowhere to go, no money for food and there's something about him that softens even a policeman's heart.
It is PC Ken Baker's last day on Z-Victor Two. He has been selected for further training at Police College. He is looking forward to a peaceful day and a quiet drink with his mates after his shift. However, when two shots are fired his farewell to Newtown is anything but peaceful.