Book Review – Crossing The Line: Lessons From a Life of Duty

I have just finished reading Crossing the Line: Lessons from a Life on Duty by bestselling author, John Sutherland. It is certainly a compelling book that gives a valuable insight into the work of serving police officers, their dilemmas and perspectives on contemporary policing and many of the challenges they have to encounter ranging from race, drugs, domestic violence, public order, mental health and many others.

We celebrate and rely on the police, together with all our emergency services, but without rarely understanding the detail of the operational and ethical dilemmas faced by many serving police officers in a service that has seen progressive austerity over the last 10 years whittling away the capacity of the service to interface with communities as effectively as it once did. This book makes this readily apparent. It’s also brutally honest about many of the flaws in modern policing and the ideologically driven political influences that the service must traverse.

It is honestly written and insightful, a thoroughly enjoyable and fascinating read both in terms of its scope, palpable humanity and clear articulation of key issues and areas of debate. The police, as a constituent component of our emergency services often are the last resort and have to fill many vacant social spaces that other state services cannot cover. For example, the number of people with mental health problems in police cells as a result of systems deficits elsewhere.

It pulls no punches in offering a critique of the police written with an obvious love of the force that genuinely strives towards a reflexive impartiality making it a very credible read.

For those interested it is £16.99. ISBN: 978 – 1 – 4746 – 1236 – 4

Dr David Cliff is a leading-edge coach, business mentor and personal development specialist. He was awarded mentor of the year by the North East Entrepreneurs Forum in 2017 and has an office based in Houghton-le-Spring. Website: