Heartbeat Wiki

DS Rachel Dawson

DS Rachel Dawson.jpg
Clare Wille as DS Rachel Dawson



First Episode

Old Scores

Last Episode

Ties That Bind


PC Joe Mason (boyfriend, seperated)

DI Turner (affair)

DS Rachel Dawson, was played by Clare Wille and appeared in 37 episodes from 2006 - 2010.


A strict CID sergeant who transferred to the area from Middlesbrough, where some years previously she had had an affair with PC Rob Walker (which continued to cause some degree of tension between the two). Unlike the other regulars, she is not actually based in Ashfordly, though she appears to live nearby, but becomes involved from time to time (and with increasing frequency in Series Seventeen and Eighteen, in which Clare Wille is credited as a main cast member) in particularly serious cases that the Ashfordly police are dealing with, or when the officers are themselves being investigated for alleged misconduct. Originally she was sometimes portrayed as a slightly interfering character, dismissing theories put forward by her juniors that later prove to be correct, but is now presented more as a respected colleague. In Series Eighteen she began an affair with PC Joe Mason immediately after Mason split up with girlfriend Nurse Cassidy. She has been confirmed as being the only female sergeant in the North Riding CID, though to date her gender not been seen as an issue and she seems to be generally accepted in her role by both CID and uniformed officers.

Biography from ITV[]

"Rachel has risen through the ranks of the force at an impressive rate, coming to her current position almost 18 months ago.

This is not a woman who has had to claw her way to the top through sheer ambition and ruthlessness however – Rachel has earned her stripes with a disarming combination of skill, authority and easy-going camaraderie.

Despite Miller’s cynicism, Rachel is difficult to dislike and quickly wins over the Ashfordly cops. She and Rob have history – they had a relationship when they served on the Middlesbrough force.

Rob is surprised to find her back in his life, but the pair quickly rediscover their strong mutual respect, and their lively banter becomes virtually a double-act. Will chemistry as potent as this tempt Rob to a “debriefing” with his superior?"


In DS Dawson's last episode, "Ties That Bind", it is mentioned that DS Dawson is getting demoted and put back into uniform for having an affair with an unnamed fellow officer which was discovered by division from an anonymous phonecall. When PC Joe Mason hears this, he tells Sgt Miller that he had the affair with her and he should take some of the blame.

Later, Joe finds out that she had the affair with a married superior officer with children which division don't look well upon. He guesses that the superior officer with DI Turner, who shows strong emotions towards Rachel when she is shot in a post office robbery. In the final scene of the episode, DS Dawson tells PC Mason that she didn't want to name the man she had an affair with because it would harm DI Turner's marriage and that although she was being demoted, she would be allowed to remain in CID.



  • Clare Wille also appeared in Friends And Relations (Season 14, episode 19) as a nurse called Julie.