Last year London North Branch member Michael Matthews sought assistance from IPA members to speak about their experiences in the 2011 riots for a book he was writing.
Michael Matthews writes:
It has been 5 years since the devastating riots that followed the shooting of Mark Duggan by police in London. The riots, which rapidly spread across the country, resulted in thousands of arrests, hundreds injured including many police officers, police dogs and horses and five persons killed.
In fact some officers’ who were at disturbances such as Broadwater Farm were fighting in the same streets in 2011.
These riots are also an important part of British policing history as well as the history of the nation. It was for this reason that I wanted to record and then write about the experiences of front line police officers’ who had fought against overwhelming odds, and against sickeningly violent, murderous mobs.
The result of my research is my new book ‘The Riots’. However, this book would not be what it is without the assistance of the IPA and for that reason I would like to take this opportunity to thank the various regions of the UK IPA for their help.
When I first considered starting the book, I knew that I would be turning to the IPA. Although I am a London officer, the riots affected cities and districts all across the country. Not only that but officers’ from all around Britain were deployed to help other forces in dealing with the rioters. So I turned to the IPA and asked for help in contacting officers’ across the country, to seek those who had been directly involved in the riots and who would be happy to speak to me about their experiences. Many reached out to me.
From hours of interviews I managed to plot the book from the first sign of trouble erupting in Tottenham, to the riots spreading around the country and then to the end of the riots in Birmingham. The book is a complete narrative of the riots, created from these individual officers experiences, and drop the reader onto the frontline during the worst rioting that the country had seen in decades.
I hope that the book ‘The Riots’ stands as a testament to the courage and dedication shown by the thousands of officers that held the line and also as a warning to those who attack the police, whether for political or criminal reasons. The police were vastly outnumbered but at the end of the day, they still won.
So thank you IPA for your help in creating this record of extreme police bravery.