'Bobby On The Run' by Winston Bugle
This is a review of a fictional book of all things, not something I would ever normally do, so there must be more going on here and there is. First off, the author, who you'll be pleased to know writes under a pseudonym, is a former serving police officer and one who fought a long-running personal battle against a charge of excessive use of force that should never have been brought against him and the book is a fictional account of the activities of the real life organisation within UK police forces that pursue these issues - the Professional Standards Department (PSD).
The case of the author is, very sadly, only too common, with PSDs seemingly working on the automatic presumption of guilt of officers, even in the face of blindingly obvious contradictory evidence. I have personal experience of this very disturbing issue, having acted as an 'expert witness' in such cases. Many UK police forces are now 'infected' with this attitudinal disease, exacerbated by a number of factors. These are 'fast-tracked' senior officers with little street experience, drastically reduced training time devoted to personal safety, a 'politically correct' senior management wanting to be seen to always err on the side of the supposed victim, hanging good officers out to dry.
But back to the book which is about a decorated and dedicated officer who has to use force against a knife wielding villain, who subsequently dies whilst in custody and the officer is arrested. However, things are not what they seem and the 'cover-up'of someone else's negligence by the force's PSD and attempts on the officer's (or anti-hero as you'll discover if you read the book) life following his escape from custody are the meat of the book as he tries to clear his name.
It's a read that really rocks along and is a good first book from this former police officer, from whom you can expect to get the fine detail correct. The writer acknowledges the officers in PSDs throughout various forces who approach their work with a sense of balance, but anyone who thinks that civilians who use force to defend themselves and find themselves facing prosecution, need to spare a thought for police officers who face a PS department with seemingly little knowledge or experience about how violence and its management legitimately takes place.
by Peter Consterdine