The Noble Cause

Version 5
True Police stories

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This is Police Constable 118 ‘a’ Thomas Wright. His imperious pose commemorates the awarding of a certificate for bravery on the Thirteenth of February 1911

He risked his life to protect others. In this case it was a runaway horse, and not an armed terrorist, but nevertheless his heroism encapsulated the core principle of policing – that of protecting others, their lives, their property, their society.

The policing values demonstrated by PC Wright remain at its heart to the present day – it’s why policing is in truth ‘The Noble Cause’.

This is a ‘warts and all’ book about policing in the 1980’s and 1990’s, written by two former police officers who did ‘the job’ collectively for more than seventy years.

Police officers see the worst of society, its inequalities, and injustice, and they sometimes have to confront pure evil and the lowest degradations of the human state. They have to face the horrors of murder, accidental death, suicide, domestic and child abuse, and sickening violence, to name just a few of the incidents described in the book.

This book tracks the course of two very different career paths in Birmingham and Walsall, one in uniform, one in the CID, until they ultimately converge.

Whether it is public-order policing, keeping a lid on the streets, working undercover, battling against drugs dealers, the reality of dealing with death and post – mortems, or the investigation of serious crimes, this book provides a unique insight into the reality of policing.

This is a book for the curious, the nostalgic, the academic, the historian and the researcher, totally factual, and demonstrating the reality rather than the dramatic conflations shown on TV and film. It contains many stunning colour photographs of a Birmingham no longer in existence.


‘Layton & Burrows dredge their collective memories of their police service in the West Midlands to produce a fascinating account of policing in a bygone era. Although only 40 years or so have passed since the events that they recount, it does feel like a totally different era from the policing of the 21st century. This book will appeal to the social historian, the retired copper of that era, and those with a general interest in “police tales”.’

‘I purchased this ebook as I was a serving officer throughout the period covered and was interested in the subject. A very good read with a very honest look at the difficulties and challenges police officers face every day which are often unappreciated or understood to anyone who hasn’t experienced policing first hand. I believe anyone who does read it will perhaps better appreciate the role of the police within our community and there are plenty of personal and case notes to keep the reader interested. I look forward to further books in the future’

‘Interesting insight into the police force .The job is not, as we believe, just watching traffic ,it could be dangerous. If you want to know what they do, read this, you will be surprised. . Well written by two ex Police Officers.’