Portrayed by Eric Richard
First Appearance Funny Ol’ Business – Cops and Robbers (16/10/84)
Final Appearance Hitting Home (24/04/01)
Call Sign 92
Bob Cryer, with more years in the uniform than most of the relief put together, was at Sun Hill from the very start of The Bill (not Woodentop!). He stayed for 17 years and if it wasn’t for the bully boy tactics of Superintendent Tom Chandler and Dale Smith accidentally shooting him forcing him into early retirement, it would have been quite possible that Bob would have been in there at the end.
During the 17 years that Bob patrolled the streets of Canley the nature of policing changed beyond recognition. The paperwork had evolved into computer work although Cryer refused to evolve along too as he told June Ackland “I’m perfectly happy with the quill and paper, thank you very much” Bob kept up with the changes. Cryer went to the school of common sense and straight talking. If someone stepped out of line he would tell them so, everyone knew where they stood with Bob. He was popular not only with fellow officers but also with the public too. In one early episode he was contacted by a teenager searching for her parents who had been named after him.
Bob Cryer was like the uncle that officers never had. An ex-squaddie he was firm when he needed to be but also looked out for his fellow officers, their welfare was put before any arrest rates. Even those officers that he had differences with such as Frank Burnside he was able to work alongside for the good of the job. However, unlike many of the sergeants who worked along side him over the years Bob was happily married to his wife Shirley. His son Patrick proved to be more of a problem and found himself the wrong side of the law during an incident where a car was found in the canal with the occupants inside dead; it turned out Patrick was the driver. Bob and Patrick’s relationship never really recovered after this incident. There was one other member of Bob’s family that we were to meet, years after Bob had left the force and that was his niece Robbie who used her knowledge gained from her uncle to completely confuse her colleagues on her first day on the station’s front desk.
“The Bill: Carry Your Bags, Sir? (#6.3)” (1990)
Sgt. Bob Cryer: Never Volunteer; it’s an old army saying.
DI Burnside: I’ll have to remember that next time I’m in an old army.
Sgt Bob Cryer to Chief Inspector Conway, speaking about Steve Loxton gaining a firearm, “I wouldn’t even give him a sparkler on Guy Fawkes Night”
Where Can I See Eric Now?
Eric can be heard discussing his time on The Bill on a The Bill Podcast.