D.I. Burke was a police officer, a job that he did for a significant period of time. He believed that he had seen so many interrogations that he was able to easily spot the guilty. He frequently chewed gum whilst on the job and was familiar with Patricia Haggard of the Ministry of Defence.
In 1995, D.I. Burke investigated the deaths of Whittaker and his dog Monty near Winterborne School and worked with Liz Shaw of P.R.o.B.e. Whilst Burke suspected that Whittaker's death was nothing more than a bungled mugging, Liz believed there might be paranormal phenomena. Their differences in attitude led to what Liz described as a "hate-hate relationship".
After Liz implicated Gavin Purcell for the murder of Luke Pendrell, Burke believed that the motive was sexual. He was satisfied when they got Purcell's confession but was later called back to the school by Liz following Barbara Taploe's murder. The two found out that Christian Purcell was the killer and managed to stop him from killing Andrew Powell, although Burke was stabbed by Christian in the process. Christian mysteriously vanished after jumping onto the motorway.
Finally having seen proof of the paranormal and the usefulness of P.R.o.B.e., Burke met with Liz and informed her that he had applied for a transfer to the organisation before they went for tea. (HOMEVID: The Devil of Winterborne) His application was presumably denied. (HOMEVID: Unnatural Selection)