Into the Night
As heard on BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week.
'Told with the verve and immediacy of a novel' - Iain Sinclair
A vividly told yet reflective account of a year as a volunteer police officer, examining the nature of policing, its impact on those who are policed and on our communal life.
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 you 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.
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.
'Acutely observed and tenderly written' - Polly Morland, bestselling author of A Fortunate Women
'An important and timely book written with empathy and real life experience' - Shami Chakrabarti
'A textured, compassionate book about cities, loss wounded souls.' - Sukhdev Sandhu
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