The sleepless nights of early parenthood helped to inspire BU graduate and police officer Adam Smart to write his first book.
Adam, who has served on the beat in London and now Bristol, came up with the idea of a children’s story book with a police officer as the central character after his first child was born. He said: “Many new parents will associate with long nights trying to get their children to sleep. It was during this time that the idea for the Officer George stories started to form. I realised that there were children’s books featuring fireman and builders, but none featuring the police.”
During the course of his career, Adam had also come to realise that many young children had an in-built fear of the police, and that storybooks could be a means of increasing understanding of the important work they do. He said: “When I went into schools and asked children what the police do, they would say they lock people up. Sometimes, while on patrol, I would overhear parents telling their children to stop misbehaving otherwise the police would come and take them away. I realised that many children had a negative impression of police, when it was important that they could trust us and feel as though they could approach a police officer if they needed help.”
As the idea for the Officer George stories developed, Adam worked with an illustrator to create the first and second book. A third edition is due out before Christmas and Adam has hopes that they could one day become an animated television series. He said: “The stories have already become used by schools and community police officers as a resource to help engage young children and I want to use them to help promote good relations between the police, children and parents.”
While the work of an author and police officer might seem a far cry from Adam’s time as a student in music design at BU, he reflects that the university experience was key in setting him up for a successful future. He said: “University is an important time in anyone’s life. It teaches you to live and work independently and really becomes the start of your adult life. I was always set on going to Bournemouth as my brother had gone there and I remember thinking it would be a great place to live and study. I loved my time there and still draw on the creative content of my degree, both in terms of the writing and in my other part-time work as a singer and musician.”