This is a very important book about horrific critical racist events in contemporary policing. Written in considerable detail by one brave influencer and leader. He was at the heart of the start (hopefully) of some tectonic shifts in Police culture and thinking. It is an extremely thoughtful personal and organisational narrative and at times takes an unusual and helpful global perspective. It should be required reading and could be an excellent case study on policing, or Police leadership course. A very helpful addition to my library – John G.D. Grieve CBE QPM BA Hons MPhil Hon DL
His book is a thought provoking narrative on the policing of colour inside and outside the Metropolitan Police spanning 3 decades, and from a senior officer who spent his career challenging the blind eyes to racism through the ranks. He offers a fascinating insight into how a black police officer endures firstly colleagues’ racist insults and then the more endemic prejudice to become the Met Police’s first ever black superintendent in Brixton. Last year’s events around Black Lives Matter and the recurring controversies over stop and search are testament to Paul Wilson’s analysis and his unrelenting battles for racial justice – Simon Israel
Rocking the Boat presents a challenging read at this particular time for those concerned with the police and race relations … The author is to be commended for his courage in sharing his experiences – Trevor Hall CBE, retired Race Equality Advisor to the Home Office
For some, it brings back painful memories. For others, it will be met with disbelief and dismissal. It is part of New Scotland Yard’s history … into an institution of much greatness yet remains with issues when it comes to race that it finds difficult to acknowledge and thus resolve – Patricia F Gallan QPM, retired Assistant Commissioner, Metropolitan Police
From establishing the Black Police Association, heavily influencing the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, discussing issues with a Home Secretary, a Prime Minister, and an American President, Paul’s impact on policing cannot be overestimated. This book is not only a historical look over a fascinating career and an inspirational story of overcoming adversity, but it is also an important wake-up call in the Black Lives Matter era – Lord Brian Paddick, former Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Metropolitan Police
Rocking the Boat chronicles the career of a black police officer’s extraordinary and unprecedented determination in challenging a police occupational culture steeped in racism.
In the year 2020, considerable attention was being paid to the issue of institutional racism in US law enforcement. However, this is not the first time, or the only country, in which this same issue has become relevant and pressing. As a black police officer in the UK between 1983 and 2010, Paul Wilson was in the centre of a similar wave of interest and was personally involved in many of the institutional changes that were suggested, debated, opposed, and fought in the UK during this time.
The author’s authority on the subject of institutional racism in British policing has been acknowledged over and over, as can be seen by his involvement as a consultant in numerous news and current affairs programmes; the many interviews with him that have appeared in the British media; his invitations to speak at events in France, Canada, South Africa, the UK and the US; and his status as the first British black person ever to be awarded a Fulbright Police Fellowship Award.
Though it addresses painful topics, this book is entertaining in addition to being educational. The author’s experiences as a constable on the streets of Croydon, his meeting of US President George W. Bush and his being rescued by a renowned jazz musician when he’s accidentally locked inside an apartment in Harlem, New York, are some of the events that provide humorous counterpoints to the heavy main story. More than a simple history lesson, these anecdotes turn the book into a pleasurable read.