Into the Night
A former carer, primary school teacher and education researcher, Matt Lloyd-Rose became a volunteer police officer to try to understand the challenges facing young people in Brixton, the place he lived and taught. He got more than he bargained for. Each Friday evening, he put on the uniform and policed South London: racing through it on blue lights, patrolling its streets, entering a parallel version of a place he thought he knew.
Into the Night takes the listener on a journey to the heart of our society’s most complex and controversial institution, showing the best and worst of ordinary policing: from macho thrill-seeking and shocking misogyny to quiet moments of kindness and care. Its pages are filled with the homeless, the lonely, the sick and the angry, with teenage gang members, confused drunks, violent partners, runaway dogs and an illegal hot-dog vendor who won’t take no for an answer. Through a blend of immersive action and lyrical reflection, Lloyd-Rose grapples with some of the most profound and unresolved issues facing our society: How do we build strong, inclusive communities? How do we break cycles of damaging behaviour? How do we bring marginalized groups to the centre of our communal life? And what is the role of the police in all of this?
At its heart, Into the Night is an exploration of what it would mean to reframe policing as a caring, rather than enforcement, role. It is also a luminous portrait of South London, the epicentre of Britain’s struggle against racist policing, surfacing hidden histories of resistance and abuse. Provoking outrage and empathy in equal measure, this is an urgent audiobook for troubled times, exploring how we got here and where we might go next.
Inside the Met, it’s as bad as you think . . . fascinating . . . it’s the casual, ubiquitous misogyny that was witnessed by Lloyd-Rose that really chills the blood . . . elegantly written
Richard Morrison, The Times
What’s it really like to patrol the streets of south London as a special constable? Matt Lloyd-Rose’s deadpan account is a revelation
Simon O’Hagan, Radio Times
A compelling snapshot of modern policing
Andrew Anthony, The Observer