A closely observed account by someone working at senior level in the Met at the time. Deals with the biggest breakdown in community relations and law and order in modern English social and policing history. Looks at the entire sequence of events from their first rumblings to their aftermath and legacy. October 2015 marks the 30th anniversary of the murder of PC Keith Blakelock during rioting on the Broadwater Farm Estate, Tottenham, against a backdrop of unrest in major UK cities and nadir in relations between police and black communities. After becoming detached from Serial 502 Keith Blakelock was kicked and hacked to death by a mob using clubs, iron bars, knives and a machete or similar weapon. His killers have never been brought to justice. This minutely researched book from former Metropolitan Police commander Tony Moore is based on new materials, private communications and matchless sources. It looks at both sides of the story of a breakdown in law and order at this ‘symbolic location’, its history, background, influences, causes and who was most to blame. Tony Moore’s book examines the stark policing choices and dilemmas as well as the 350 arrests of mainly black people, the wall of silence, fear, trials, appeals and campaign for the release of Winston Silcott, Engin Raghip and Mark Braithwaite (The Tottenham Three) and later jury acquittal of Nicky Jacobs. It looks at the calamitous legacy, questionable strategies and the acquittal of two members of the Met’s CID charged with perverting the course of justice. From petrol bombs, burning barricades and unfathomable violence to the backdrop of immigration, recriminations and lessons of hindsight, this is a powerful book that should be read by anyone concerned with police community relations.
‘This is a remarkable book, not easy-reading yet easy to read, it is not for the faint-hearted and anyone who has policed in such dire circumstances may well be moved to tears. He writes not just about a police murder but about the root causes and he is not afraid to apportion blame to ensure lessons may be learned for the future. It should be compulsory reading not only for public order trainers and commanders but all senior officers. It is highly recommended’: Police History Society newsletter.
‘A well-researched and intelligent assessment … will remain as excellent source material for the applied criminologist for years to come … will help both professionals and the general public understand how far we still have to travel to achieve a social contract consensus between the state and its local diverse communities as the UK’s population continues to expand’: Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers.
Tony Moore was a Divisional Commander in the Metropolitan Police. He is the author of the acclaimed Policing Notting Hill: Fifty Years of Turbulence (Waterside Press, 2013). He was involved in many high profile policing events.
The author of the Foreword
Professor Clive Emsley is a leading expert on police and policing, in the UK and internationally.