8th February 2008 at 00:00
Anyone who fears that a photographic exhibition about the police in Scotland will be full of blood and violence can be assured that this is not the case. Force: A Contemporary Portrait of Scotland's Police, running at Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Gallery until March 16, is a fascinating show of large-scale images that reflect the diverse nature of the work carried out by the country's eight police forces.

Fine art photographer Jane Brettle was commissioned by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery to undertake this ambitious project, sparked off by an altercation - right outside the gallery in Edinburgh between police and G8 protesters in 2005. James Holloway, gallery director, says: "That day, I was aware of the police for the first time and realised I didn't know what they do. The project fits in with our programme of exhibitions reflecting life in contemporary Scotland."

Jane Brettle spent months travelling all over Scotland researching her subject, then setting up and taking the photographs; her primary interest being, she says, "the individuals involved in doing the job, rather than the institution they represent".

Among the 26 highly detailed photographs are portraits of a forensic science team, asylum liaison unit, football match commands, under-water research and mountain rescue. We also see a dog handler at home with his family, a police couple with their young son; police on bikes and with horses; a wildlife crime officer with an eagle owl and a pub crime scene set-up at the Scottish Police Training College.

This touring exhibition is complemented by objects from Fife Constabulary's police museum and a series of free talks on Saturdays.

www.janebrettle.com; T 01592 583213.

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