Matt Delito is a Metropolitan police officer. He has a blog called Notes From The Front Line, and now he has a book called Confessions of a Police Constable. And that’s about all we know. He’s not even called Matt Delito, if the truth be told.
The names may have been twisted, and the locations scrambled, but ‘Confessions’ turns out to be a criminally addictive account of life on the Force (or Service, as we should properly call it these days). Constable Delito has a deft touch when it comes to describing the ups and downs of the job. He writes in a casual, chummy tone, which readily conveys that the boys and girls in blue are very human too.
Everyday incidents such as stop-and-search and shoplifting arrests throw up the most unlikely, and often comedic, complications and pitfalls. But there are also many harrowing encounters, such as the mother who refuses to acknowledge that her baby has died, despite the maggots crawling over its face, or Delito’s experiences during the 2011 riots.
The overall impression is of a hugely demanding job, full of ugly scenes, potential dangers and plenty of public abuse. Yet Delito frequently tells us how much he loves it all. The Metropolitan Police might not be perfect, but the individual officers deserve our respect and, yes, admiration if they’re anything like as dedicated as the author conveys.
Confessions of a Police Constable is out on 26 April 2013 from The Friday Project. Buy here.
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