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Barely a week goes by without the Metropolitan Police being plunged into a new crisis. Demoralised, 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. The result is a devastating picture of a police force riven with corruption, misogyny and incompetence.

Throughout this fully updated edition, which includes an assessment of Mark Rowley’s first year as commissioner and the Met’s failure to adequately vet the likes of Wayne Couzens and David Carrick, Tom Harper makes use of intelligence files, witness statements and first-hand accounts to explain how London’s world-famous police force got itself into this sorry mess – and how it might get itself out of it.


“This book should be read by every police officer, every politician and everybody who cares about law and order in this country.”

Peter Oborne

“Meticulous and passionate. Tom Harper has written the most authoritative critique of British policing in years.”

Lord Macdonald KC, former Director of Public Prosecutions

“The police are there to look after us. But someone has to look closely at the police – and Tom Harper has done just that in this comprehensive overview. Some of it makes for difficult reading, for much has gone wrong in policing over recent years. But the book is also constructive and never loses sight of the importance of the role the police have in any well-functioning democracy.” 

Alan Rusbridger

Broken Yard could hardly be more timely. Harper examines key episodes from the Met’s recent history, with frank contributions from insiders, in a book that should be essential reading for the new commissioner.”

Duncan Campbell, The Observer

“Devastating … A forensic account of the Met’s descent into a national embarrassment. Excellent and very timely.”

Guy Adams, Daily Mail

“This magnificent book should be required reading for everyone involved in policing, in any way.”

Peter Bleksley

“Meticulous … Harper offers an insider’s angle and it is revelatory in its findings.”

Camden New Journal

“Excellent … In particular, Harper really understands the creep of corruption.”

The Spectator

“Harper chronicles in coruscating detail ‘the scandal after scandal’ that has buffeted the force since the 1990s and left the Met a demoralized ‘shadow of its former self’. His central message is this: the Metropolitan Police has morphed into an organization whose main purpose is to defend the Metropolitan Police.”

Ian Loader, TLS
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  • Paperback, 496 pages
  • ISBN: 9781785908071
  • 12 September 2023
  • £14.99
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  • ISBN: 9781785907685
  • 4 October 2022
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