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Life in Police Custody: Thoughts and Images

Michael John

There are some things that we do in life
Sometimes to earn a living
Sometimes for pleasure 
But in doing so we often feel or witness pain
We remain humble in order to provide for our families
Our compliance merely to prevent feelings of disdain
This is not intended to offend, shock or offer abuse
Just an honest set of opinions
Dare I say the truth


Michael John, a recent retiree, recounts his thirty-year working life with the Metropolitan Police Service in various parts of London. Rather than an exact chronology he tackles a wide variety of topics relating to police work with chapters headed: Pros and Cons, a taste of what goes on; Drink Drive; Death; Diversity (which must be the shortest chapter ever!); Drugs and Drug Use; Mental Health'; Policing and Crowds. He describes in some detail daily life e.g. as a custody officer relating some pretty hair-raising incidents, being at the Notting Hill Carnival and early on his first visit to a mortuary. He is not afraid of revealing his opinions about changes in policing and gives them air in a series of poems that conclude almost every chapter. The reader cannot but help being impressed by his overall attitude with his lack of bitterness even when matters seem to turn against him. Needless to say he writes under a pseudonym.

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Michael joined the police after being employed in the electronics industry for ten years. A career change into London's Metropolitan Police fulfilled a lifelong ambition. Michael was raised in South London and although critical of the way that the police service has changed, he has total respect for the police service. He resides in Kent with his family and has retired recently from the Metropolitan Police.


Michael enjoys keeping fit, playing the guitar and has a wide diverse appetite for music.