‘Blue’ – a police memoir by John Sutherland, hits No.4 in Sunday Times book rankings

A newly-published book about the Metropolitan Police has hit fourth position in the Sunday Times book rankings!

Police officers from around the country attended the London launch of Blue: A Memoir this week – a new book outlining the highs and lows of being a British Bobby.

The book by Ch Supt John Sutherland – Twitter’s @policecommander – focusses on the positive work of his Met Police colleagues during a 25-year career but also on how policing can take its toll, including its difficult to read pages on John suffering from depression.

The strapline for the book is “Keeping the Peace and Falling to Pieces.”

Speaking at the event, John said the idea for the book came from the imbalance of predominantly negative reporting about policing in the media.

He said: “For the past 25 years, I have had the privilege of doing a job I love – alongside people I truly admire.

“In its way, this book is a love letter to each one of them: my family, my city and the women and men of the police force.

“Blue tells some of their stories – some of our stories – and in doing so, tries to provide some balance to the wider story being told about policing in this country.

“But it is also a very personal story of the toll that life and policing can take. Four years ago, whilst serving as the Borough Commander for Southwark in South London, I broke. I’m still mending.”

The book features large chunks on John’s rise through the ranks, his time as a hostage negotiator, as a borough commander and has a real focus on the scourge of knife crime in the capital.

Both the speech and book resonated well with the audience in attendance at the launch in London – which also included a number of John’s friends and family.

Also there were the Kinsella family. Ben Kinsella was killed in a stabbing incident in Islington in 2008 – and John has remained in touch with them.

‘Blue: A Memoir’ went on sale on Thursday 25 May.

View on Police Oracle

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As a closing note, I will add my own congratulations to Chief Superintendent John Sutherland, who is on Twitter @policecommander

Steve Shearwater

Help with UK police jargon & Cumbrian dialect words, for overseas readers

It was obvious from the outset that I couldn’t write an accurate police story without using the appropriate ‘period jargon’ and that similarly my novel couldn’t capture the fabulous aura and personality of the Cumbrian people without including dialect speech.  But if these aspects might put off some readers from outside Britain, don’t worry; help is literally at hand!

“Blues & Twos” – driving at speed, using the flashing blue lights and two-tone sirens (now multi-tone, but the nickname persists)

Simply have your laptop, tablet or smartphone handy when you are reading and if you find any confusing words or phrases click on the tabs at the top of each page of the website, for either — unsurprisingly — ‘Police Jargon’ or ‘Dialect’, and your confusion will disappear!  (And if it doesn’t, please tell me and I’ll fire the person who wrote this!!! 🙂 )

Steve Shearwater