Hostage Negotiator Selection

Before I was a writer, I was a police officer. And, for many of the twenty-five years that I served in the Met, I worked as a Hostage Negotiator - or, to give the role its full and proper title, a Hostage & Crisis Negotiator. The fact is that full-blown Hollywood hostage scenarios - the... Continue Reading →

My First Siege

Before I was a writer, I was a police officer. And it’s the real life stories from my twenty-five-plus years in the Met that continue to inform and inspire so much much of what I put down on the page. My first novel was called The Siege - and, with that in mind, I thought... Continue Reading →

The Stories We Tell

Stories matter. The ones we hear and the ones we tell. For the past six or seven years, I’ve been telling stories about policing. About the everyday heroism of the overwhelming majority of women and men who do the Job: about their compassion and courage; their selflessness and sacrifice; their humility and humanity; about extraordinary... Continue Reading →

Police Foundation Report: An Initial Response

On March 8th, the Police Foundation published their Strategic Review of Policing in England & Wales. Three years in the making, the report examines policing past, present and future and makes a lengthy series of recommendations about where we need to go from here. The reaction to the launch on social media was predictably mixed... Continue Reading →

An Impossible Job

Yesterday, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police lost her job. After 40 years of public service, she reached the end of the road. And there were plenty of people lining up in the immediate aftermath of the announcement to say that it was not before time. There can be no avoiding the fact that the... Continue Reading →

Her Name was Sarah

I hardly know where to begin, so I will begin by saying her name.  Sarah.  Her name was Sarah. I’ve struggled for days to put my thoughts into some semblance of order - to make any kind of sense of what I’m thinking and feeling. I’m still struggling now.  What follows is my best (and... Continue Reading →

Institutional Humanity & Heroism

It’s been a hell of a year for police officers in this country. Twelve months ago, in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, policing stood accused of institutional racism. And it wasn’t the first time that had happened. Three months ago, in the aftermath of the murder of Sarah Everard, policing stood accused... Continue Reading →

A Blueprint for Policing (2021)

These are the most challenging times for policing in this country since the end of the Second World War. I said as much at the start of 2020. And then the virus came. And then George Floyd was killed. And then the streets filled with protestors. And then the second wave of the virus hit.... Continue Reading →


A night of rioting in Bristol. Yet another set of grim and deeply depressing headlines.  Police officers with serious injuries. Police vehicles overturned and in flames. Police buildings under sustained attack. Extreme violence and endless vitriol directed yet again at the brave women and men who stand on the thin blue line. What the hell... Continue Reading →


Policing is at a crossroads. The headlines this morning were truly grim. The pictures were even worse: photographs of women being pinned to the ground by police officers, at a vigil held in memory of a murdered woman. Clapham Common is a short walk from where I live. I went there yesterday. I went with... Continue Reading →

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