Thistle Publishing

Crime Squad

London 1988: PC Mike Pannett, fresh out of training school, had suspected life in the Metropolitan Police was going to be a bit different from rural North Yorkshire, but the 23-year-old had no idea by just how much. Sent south of the river to Battersea, then top of London’s crime league tables, Mike was thrown straight into the deep end – during his first drugs raid he ended up staring down the wrong end of a double-barrelled shotgun.

Mike’s arrival in London coincided with the explosion in crack cocaine use. In the early 1990s, Yardies – criminal gangs fromJamaica and the USA - flooded into the capital, starting in Battersea, where they brought all manner of guns with them, along with a live-fast die-young attitude. Rivals were ruthlessly eliminated and whole neighbourhoods fell under the control of drug gangs. Mike and his police colleagues fought back with extraordinary valour and inventiveness and with the support of the local community they started to turn the tide – but then came the unthinkable crime: the murder in 1993 of PC Patrick Dunne, one of Mike’s colleagues, by Gary Nelson, aka ‘Tyson’, a criminal the national press described as ‘the most dangerous man ever to walk to the streets of Britain.’ Mike was drawn into the long and exceptionally dangerous hunt for Nelson that would go on to cost the life of another police officer.

Crime Squad takes readers on an unforgettable ride as Mike, an innocent lad from the Yorkshire Dales, learns to grow up fast and stay alive on the mean streets of London.

A portion of the proceeds from every book sold will go to Care of Police Survivors (COPS), a UK registered charity dedicated to helping the families of police officers who have lost their lives whilst on duty.


“Crime Squad takes readers on an unforgettable ride as Mike, an innocent lad from the Yorkshire Dales, learns to grow up fast and stay alive on the mean streets of London.”


"A rollercoaster read of life on the front line." - Sir Hugh Orde, OBE, QPM.

"An accurate and fascinating picture of police work at the sharp end," - Detective Superintendent John Jones (rtd)

"Gripping from first to last," - Andy Trotter (OBE, QPM)

"A terrific memoir of the extraordinary everyday work of police officers determined to bring criminals to justice. Mike's done a stand-up job - and I should know, because I was his Chief Inspector at the time!" - Sir Hugh Orde, (OBE, QPM)

"I was involved in the investigation of many brutal and violent crimes, including murders, rapes, armed robberies, cases of torture, child abuse and many more. None of them touched me as much as the murder of PC Patrick Dunne… Crime Squad is a very real horror story. Grit your teeth and read it. Patrick, and others who have fallen in our service deserve it." - Detective Superintendent John Jones, South West London Major Investigation Pool (rtd)

"An exciting, compelling account of front-line policing. Gripping from first to last."

Andy Trotter (OBE, QPM)

“A great read… gave a great feel of policing in the 80's and 90's in London, particularly with the change in drug culture and guns.”

Neil Clarke - Reviewer

“Well-written and informative, giving an insight into the workings of the police force in London in 1980s. Recommended.”

Wendy Rhodes - Reviewer

“A page-turner from start to finish... Highly recommended.”

Georgina Phillips – Reviewer

Mike Pannett Mail: Kris Hollington Buy