John Sutherland is a retired police officer. He joined the Met in 1992, and has worked in seven London boroughs in a range of ranks and roles, including as Borough Commander. He lives in London with his wife and three young children. His award winning blog on policing can be found here: www.policecommander.wordpress.com
His book, Blue: A Memoir – Keeping the Peace and Falling to Pieces, is an account of more than two decades on the front line and a very personal account of the highs that a life in uniform can bring as well as the lows which can cause even the most hardened of officers to break. It was published by Weidenfeld & Nicholson (Orion) in May 2017.
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‘Every contact leaves a trace’
John Sutherland joined the Met in 1992, having dreamed of being a police officer since his teens. Rising quickly through the ranks, and compelled by the opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives, he worked across the capital, experiencing first-hand the enormous satisfaction as well as the endless trauma that a life in blue can bring.
There were remarkable, career-defining moments: commanding armed sieges, saving lives and helping to take dangerous people off the streets. But for every case with a happy ending, there were others that ended in desperate sadness.
In early 2013, John suffered a major breakdown and consequent battle with crippling depression. After a career spent racing to be the first at the scene of crimes and catastrophes, he found himself in pieces, unable to put one foot in front of the other.
Blue is a memoir of crime and calamity, of adventure and achievement, of friendship and failure, of laughter and loss, of the best and the worst of humanity, of serious illness and slow recovery. With searing honesty, it offers an immensely moving and personal insight into what it is to be a police officer in Britain today.
“Blue is a remarkable, revealing and inspiring insight into the worlds of the police and the policed. The stories told are by turns heart-warming and saddening, moving and maddening – it is an account of the very best and the very worst of our society. It is a book which should be required reading for all who aspire to public office, in any sector and at every level” — John Nichol bestselling author of Tornado Down
“Brave and very honest” – Bear Grylls