'The difference between a good detective and a successful criminal is paper thin' - CID induction lecture'
Welcome to the Criminal Investigation Department, aka the Crime Factory. Where the cops take and sell drugs (or steal them from the police storeroom); where they fit up, 'verbal' and harrass criminals, fight each other, drink-drive, abuse search warrants, have sex with sources, stab one another in the back (metaphorically), put each other under surveillance; abuse every aspect of their power, take bribes, cover up scandals, massage crime stats, and leak sensitive information to the The Crime Factory. Where they perform life-saving medical care in the street, comfort people as they die, deal with gruesome suicides and murders as first-on-scene, attend cot-death post-mortems, examine rotting dead junkies for signs of murder, watch guilty rapists and paedophiles walk free, fight drunk soldiers, gypsies and various psychotic individuals, go undercover to catch scumbags who force-feed them crack, find missing children, arrest thieves, muggers, dealers, rapists and murderers…The Crime Factory. It's enough to drive anyone insane.
The first book of its kind, this is the unforgettable and explosive true story of what life is really like as a police detective in the twenty-first century. Officer 'A' spent twelve years as a police officer, ten of which were as a CID detective. He resigned from the police in April 2010 and currently consults in private security and co-owns a successful business.
Lots of mini stories which do a good job delving into the lives of police officers, while highlighting the double standards and loyalty of the force. It was an interesting book, which lacked substance at times and over delivered at others. Worth a listen for sure..
What did you like most about The Crime Factory?
It is an accurate picture of policing today and the highs and lows it contains. I may have enjoyed it more than most as I have a recent Police background but I think it could also be enjoyed by others.
It is obvious that Damien McIntyre (Officer A) still has a real axe to grind against Surrey but it is a real rollercoaster of a story. I think the issues of PTSD and burnout are relevant to anyone on a high pressure job environment and there are plenty of those inside and outside the Police.
What other book might you compare The Crime Factory to, and why?
Haven't read anything like this before.
Which character – as performed by Damian Lynch – was your favourite?
It is non-fiction so this question isn't relevant but Mr Lynch reads it well and is easy on the ears.
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
Any additional comments?
I bought it for a couple of quid in the sale and definitely would never have selected it otherwise. I would have missed a treat. If you like autobiographies written by 'real' people as opposed to celebrities then I recommend you buy this. If you are thinking about going into the Police service then this should be required reading.
The moral of the story - watch what you say out loud at work.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes I would, having been married to a Policeman and detective, I know just how shockingly true this book is.
What did you like best about this story?
The very real portrayal of the police establishment, hierarchy etc plus the continued deterioration of the public's respect for the police in general and as human beings in particular.
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
The same as the book title.
Any additional comments?
Having a certain understanding, the initial descriptions of the rank and file of the Police force made me laugh a lot, the last chapters dealing with the Authors complete breakdown was very touching and true and happens to so many of those in the front lines. I feel comments regarding the lack of acknowledgement by the powers that be to be justified.I found this book a fascinating read. The narrator is also excellent.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
A cracking good read. Nothing in it surprised me but then i didn't expect it to. It's not a book for the faint0hearted or for those who'd prefer to keep their heads buried in the sand. it pulls no punches at all but then doesn't attempt to justify anything that goes on. It simply points out the fact as the author sees them and leave us to judge for ourselves if he's telling the truth or not. I think he is telling the truth and that something should be done about it. I wouldn't do his job for anything in the world but I'm sure glad somebody takes the risk of losing his sanity to do it.
The narator did a fairly good job of this book though some of the acdents are a mite inaccurate and it's hard to know what he's trying to sound like or who. That apart I'd recommend this book to anyone who just wants to see policing like it is and not listen to all the rubbish we're told in the press or by our politicians.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Even though this is just one man's true story I think it would prove very interesting to most readers of detective fiction. On the one hand the author is very keen to make points about real life being unlike detective fiction in the way that crimes are solved. On the other it is sadly clear that many of the fictional stereotypes are rooted in at least this ex-copper's reality.
The crippling hours, the lack of empathy from senior management, the under-funding and of course the crippling effects of so-called progressive management techniques. Anyone who has worked in a big company knows that when you treat something that takes a variety of approaches and skills with the factory model you merely end up creating illusions of productivity and progress. Give a senior manager a simple set of numbers to look after and that's it, any hope of getting genuine leadership vanishes as the targets replace common sense and good priorities.
The book itself is written simply and moves along at a good pace, it covers a number of years and not one but two countries. The differences between the Australian and UK police forces at the time are stark and fascinating. The narration by Damian Lynch is very sympathetic to the subject and strikes what feels likes an authentic tone including both the desperation and the dark humour which is spread through the book.
I also think that anyone with strong feelings about our police force should read this, regardless of which direction those feelings take. Probably most would gain at least a little empathy with the rank and file officers though maybe not the institutions themselves. It is just one man's story of course and written after a bad experience with a couple of employers but it highlights the pressures and difficulties we put our public servants under.
Maybe it could help engender a little more understanding all round.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful
I am always a little sceptical when an author of a published non-fiction work is forced to hide behind a fictional name, such as, in this case, Officer A. It leads me to question whether what I am reading (or hearing in this case) is the whole truth or a work of sensational fiction. However, as the book unfolds, I became convinced that everything told in this book is true. I also came to understand, particularly towards the end, that using a fake moniker was necessary as there is far too much sensitive information hidden within the content that could backfire on the author if his identity were to be known. It would be quite easy for him to fall victim to those he has arrested and sent to jail and their cohorts, and by still-serving members of the police forces that he worked with that might bear a grudge. Let it be said, that 'Officer A' has suffered more than he should - hence, I imagine the reason for writing the book in the first place - from police bureaucracy, the insensitivity of senior officers and, miscarriages of justice. In the final chapter it becomes clear that like so many police officers, emergency service workers and military personnel, Officer A continues to live with the effects of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The author, by telling his story, may well be regarded as a whistle-blower, but the information he reveals about police procedure , in my opinion, needs to be out in the open. The book takes the listener on a journey through the everyday life of a front line CID police officer and the people they have to deal with in their everyday lives - the rapists, the murderers, the junkies - as well as having to work with the mutilated victims the evil of this world frequently prey on. Despite doing his best in a very demanding job, Officer A, like most of his contemporaries, has to cope with the failures of our judicial and legal system as well as stand up against 'jobs worth' senior officers that lack the sensitivity and command that their jobs should demand. In our dangerous and frequently corrupt society, being at the sharp end of policing is never a job that anyone can be envious of others for having. As the book reveals; at every moment during his career, Officer A had to keep looking over his shoulder merely to survive for 12 years in the job. It is clear from the book that police officers that work with the most dangerous villains seldom receive the support and backing from their senior colleagues that they should. Frequently, the hierarchy seem to be forever searching for ways to persecute their own, lower-ranking, officers. The Crime Factory is a thoroughly good listen, but what Officer A tells you is very concerning. It is a warts and all exposure of modern day policing that every politician, judge and legal worker would be advised to listen to (or read) because, if they did, they may begin to understand the vast levels of effort that go into trying to keep the public safe from predators, only for the police's efforts to be kicked into touch for some trivial reason - usually by the likes of the CPS who throw out a prosecution primarily for cost reasons. Highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to The Crime Factory again? Why?
I couldn't stop listening to this, the stories he tells are as gritty and interesting as any good fiction but so insightful and shocking when you remind yourself it is real life. I know we are obviously only hearing it from his point of view but felt a great empathy with the writer by the end with everything he went through and found myself really hoping he is happy and successful now. Also, I absolutely loved the narration - it sounded so completely genuine and heartfelt I had to double check that the author wasn't reading it himself as was convinced it had to be him!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Very good. An insightful story brought alive by the narrator. An eye opener, a story that needed to be told.
As a child I always wanted to join the force... as an adult I keep debating it. This gives great insight into the personal sacrifices required to become an officer. Thank you for sharing this and I hope the author is doing ok.
What's interesting about this book is that when talking about Surrey Police he really does not pull punches, and has no trouble describing the kind of corruption that we all know takes place in our police service. I find this kind of thing fascinating because the common practices of the police are not really known by the general public and so offer a great insight.
I did find however that the author was extremely arrogant. In nearly everyone of his encounters with other officers, whether it be in Australia or the UK, he acts as if they couldn't comprehend the genius that lied within his 'photographic' brain, which made him seem so egotistical and at times unlikable. It would have been better if he had shown some humility when talking about his service. Furthermore he seems to make blaring contradictions within the book that escape him. At one point justifying the police's inaction at times on budget cuts, but not affording the CPS the same courtesy. I must admit, half way through I really had to persevere to finish it, but I'm so glad I did because of the final 2 chapters.
I really respect Damien Mcintrye for truly giving a brave account of what was for him clearly a very depressing and stressful time in his life, and although his behaviour was given a sugar coating by him, at least he had the truth to tell of it in the first place.
Very well written book! Brilliantly narrated too!
Highly recommended it to anyone considering a career in law enforcement, though do bear in mind that it might change your career choice.
Wow could not put this book down, I was completely absorbed in this true account of a British police detective's life. After reading this I am astonished at how anyone would ever want to peruse and devote their career/life to this job, after reading this. To have to contend with scrotes and humanities scum, compile endless reams of paperwork, insufficient staffing, very poor OCChealth, terrible employee support systems and very poor internal ethical behaviour. I am shocked that officer A didn't have a complete break down much earlier. It's a credit to his mental strength that he didn't.
I do hope that some of the British and Australian politicians get to read this book, may be they will have a better insight into
the problems within their law enforcement system. Maybe then they will improve the policing environment across the board, rather than issuing budget cuts and hollow promises, to the detriment of the police/justice system and the public!