Congratulations to Tom Harper on the publication of Broken Yard: The Fall of the Metropolitan Police – a searing account of corruption, racism and mismanagement inside Britain’s most famous police force – which is out from Biteback today.
As Sir Mark Rowley begins his new job as Met Commissioner, this book should be at the top of his in-tray. Barely a week goes by without the Metropolitan Police Service being plunged into a new crisis. Demoralised and depleted in numbers, Scotland Yard is a shadow of its former self.
Spanning the three decades from the infamous Stephen Lawrence case to the shocking murder of Sarah Everard, Broken Yard charts the Met’s fall from a position of unparalleled power to the troubled and discredited organisation we see today, barely trusted by its Westminster masters and struggling to perform its most basic function: the protection of the public.
The result is a devastating picture of a world-famous police force riven with corruption, misogyny and rank incompetence.
As a top investigative reporter at the Sunday Times and the Independent, Tom Harper covered Scotland Yard for fifteen years, beginning not long after the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, an innocent Brazilian killed by Met Police officers after being mistaken for a terror suspect in 2005. Since then, reporting on Scotland Yard has been akin to witnessing a slow-motion car crash.
Using thousands of intelligence files, witness statements and court transcripts provided by police sources, as well as first-hand testimony, Harper explains how London’s world-famous police force got itself into this sorry mess – and how it might get itself out of it.