Working at the front-line on the streets of London can be thrilling, frightening, rewarding, infuriating, and sometimes plain hilarious.
In this eye-opening account of on-the-beat policing, Delito narrates some of his most interesting cases – from working undercover in a city club to being ambushed in the London riots – as well as taking us through the gadgets, procedures, and lingo that go with life at the other end of a 999 call.
From the team that brought you the bestselling CONFESSIONS OF A GP and CONFESSIONS OF A MALE NURSE comes CONFESSIONS OF A POLICE CONSTABLE: a book that will shine a light on the gripping, touching and shocking realities of life as a city police constable.
What did you do at work today?
Matt Delito is a Police Constable. That is about as much as we can reveal about him.
Dawn was the first girl Cathy Glass ever fostered. Sweet and seemingly well balanced girl, Dawn’s outward appearance masked a traumatic childhood so awful, that even she could not remember it.
During the first night, Cathy awoke to see Dawn looming above Cathy’s baby’s cot, her eyes staring and blank. She sleepwalks – which Cathy learns is often a manifestation in disturbed children. It becomes a regular and frightening occurrence, and Cathy is horrified to find Dawn lighting a match whilst mumbling it’s not my fault in her sleep one night.
Cathy discovers Dawn is playing truant from school, and struggling to make friends. More worryingly she finds her room empty one night, and her pillow covered in blood. Dawn has been self-harming in order to release the pain of her past.
When Dawn attempts suicide, Cathy realises that she needs more help than she can give. Dawn’s mother eventually confides in her that Dawn was sent away to live with relatives in Ireland between the ages of 5 and 9, and Cathy soon realises that the horrors Dawn was exposed to during this time have left her a very disturbed little girl.
Beth is a sweet-natured child who appears to have been well looked after. But it isn’t long before Cathy begins to have concerns that the relationship between Beth and her father is not as it should be.
Little Beth, aged 7, has been brought up by her father Derek after her mother left when she was a toddler. When Derek is suddenly admitted to hospital with psychiatric problems Beth is taken into care and arrives at Cathy’s.
Beth and her father clearly love each other very much and Derek spoils his daughter, treating her like a princess, but there is something bothering Cathy, something she can’t quite put her finger on.
Meanwhile Cathy’s husband is working away a lot and coming home less at weekends. Then, suddenly, everything changes. Events take a dramatic turn for both Beth and Cathy and her family; as Cathy strives to pick up the pieces all their lives are changed forever.
Jade, 17, is pregnant, homeless and alone when she’s brought to live with Cathy. Jade is desperate to keep her baby, but little more than a child herself, she struggles with the responsibilities her daughter brings.
Cathy is worried as soon as Jade arrives: she’s never looked after a pregnant teenager before, but none of the mother and baby carers is free, and – seventeen years old, seven months pregnant and homeless – Jade is in a desperate situation.
But Jade doesn’t want to listen or advice and although her daughter is born safely it isn’t long before Jade’s in trouble with the police.
Cathy knows that Jade loves her daughter with all her heart, but will she be able to get through to Jade in time to make her realise just how much she might lose?
Justin was five years old; his brothers two and three. Their mother, a heroin addict, had left them alone again. Later that day, after trying to burn down the family home, Justin was taken into care.
Justin was taken into care at the age of five after deliberately burning down his family home. Six years on, after 20 failed placements, Justin arrives at Casey’s home. Casey and her husband Mike are specialist foster carers. They practice a new style of foster care that focuses on modifying the behaviour of profoundly damaged children. They are Justin’s last hope, and it quickly becomes clear that they are facing a big challenge.
Try as they might to make him welcome, he seems determined to strip his life of all the comforts they bring him, violently lashing out at schoolmates and family and throwing any affection they offer him back in their faces. After a childhood filled with hurt and rejection, Justin simply doesn’t want to know. But, as it soon emerges, this is only the tip of a chilling iceberg.
A visit to Justin’s mother on Boxing Day reveals that there are some very dark underlying problems that Justin has never spoken about. As the full picture becomes clearer, and the horrific truth of Justin’s early life is revealed, Casey and her family finally start to understand the pain he has suffered...
Includes a sample chapter of Crying for Help.
Eight-year-old Aimee was on the child protection register at birth. Her five older siblings were taken into care many years ago. So no one can understand why she was left at home to suffer for so long. It seems Aimee was forgotten.
The social services are looking for a very experienced foster carer to look after Aimee and, when she reads the referral, Cathy understands why. Despite her reservations, Cathy agrees to Aimee on – there is something about her that reminds Cathy of Jodie (the subject of ‘Damaged’ and the most disturbed child Cathy has cared for), and reading the report instantly tugs at her heart strings.
When she arrives, Aimee is angry. And she has every right to be. She has spent the first eight years of her life living with her drug-dependent mother in a flat that the social worker described as ‘not fit for human habitation’. Aimee is so grateful as she snuggles into her bed at Cathy’s house on the first night that it brings Cathy to tears.
Aimee’s aggressive mother is constantly causing trouble at contact, and makes sweeping allegations against Cathy and her family in front of her daughter as well. It is a trying time for Cathy, and it makes it difficult for Aimee to settle. But as Aimee begins to trust Cathy, she starts to open up. And the more Cathy learns about Aimee’s life before she came into care, the more horrified she becomes.
It’s clear that Aimee should have been rescued much sooner and as her journey seems to be coming to a happy end, Cathy can’t help but reflect on all the other ‘forgotten children’ that are still suffering...