956 in the Midland town of Brinford: The remains of a young boy, possibly thirty years old, are found in a disused mine by a dog-walker. At the same time Gina Dawson reports for duty as the first female constable at the town's police station and is greeted with hostility by Chief Inspector Nelson and patronised by sexist Sergeant Fenton. With the help of a lost dog Gina catches two thieves but Fenton lets them go as one of them, Brody, is his informer. Gina also crosses Fenton when he arrests black bus conductor Donald Palmer for assaulting Sylvia Stewart, whom he claims is his girlfriend. Gina believes Donald is innocent and Sylvia was attacked by somebody else but blamed Donald as she is scared of her racist father. After Gina has proved herself helping two victims of child neglect and being asked by sympathetic Inspector Burns to research the case of the dead boy, another girl is attacked - and not by Donald, who is in custody.

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