In Basking Shark, MacCaig separates the animal, which suggests something violent but isn't, with the human, where the real threat of violence may lie. In Brooklyn Cop, MacCaig combines the animal and the human in one figure.
Despite being compared to an animal, the policeman has human hopes and fears. He is aware of the dangers that surround him but is relatively powerless in doing anything about it; he is left to hope each day that he will be able to return home.
Brooklyn Cop shares its setting with Hotel Room, 12th Floor and both poems suggest that this modern city is full of the threat of violence and uncivilised human nature.
Typically of MacCaig, the poem ends with a pertinent point that makes the reader think. Considering the backdrop of danger that both the policeman (and the people he comes into contact with) face in the environments that they are in, he wonders what kind of human would be able to cope with such circumstances.