The tough life of one of Britain's most senior policemen, who rose through the ranks from poverty and deprivation to the highest office, and went on to become Blair's `Drug Czar'.
An abused, unwanted, squint-eyed boy, Keith Hellawell never knew who his real father was. His mother, a club dancer, was always bringing home different men, and would tie him to the table-leg to keep him quiet. He fought at school and went down the pit. It was a hard-bitten, inauspicious start for a man who was eventually to become Chief Constable of Cleveland, and then West Yorkshire, and later, controversially, New Labour's much-feted and summarily dismissed 'Drugs Tsar'.
In his autobiography he writes candidly about four decades of public service. He lifts the veil on police brutality, corruption and abuse of power. He chronicles the rise in terrorism, public disorder, drug abuse and criminality. He discusses the childishness and insecurity of politicians and civil servants. He deals with the issues of racism, sexism and political correctness, and provides a rare insight into the workings of the judiciary, royalty and the establishment. And he chronicles the often lonely challenges of dealing with the likes of Peter Sutcliffe in a police career that took him everywhere from Northern Ireland to Hollywood.
The Outsider is the autobiography of a man of absolute integrity fired by the determination to better not only his own lot, but that of other humans as well, and to change things from the inside.
Here is a man of intellect, probity, progressive ideas and the energy to carry them through, who spent his working life in the two most rigid, conservative and autocratic organisations in the country-the police force and the civil service. He was surrounded by petty, jealous colleagues, many of whom were out to get him. Yet he lasted forty years. Perhaps a better title for this riveting tale of his life would have been The Survivor'
-Phillip Knightley, Sunday Times
'How he came to be on the wrong end of a Labour kicking is only a small part of the autobiography. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the book is the changing nature of policing since the 1960s, when crime was far lower and villains were regularly given a good hiding. Hellawell has some insights about the future of policing that the Home Secretary would do well to contemplate'
-Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph
'Hellawell's gift for the controversial quote made him the best-known policeman of his generation. His autobiography will cement that reputation'
Keith Hellawell was born and brought up in Yorkshire and, after spending some years working as a minter, has been a policeman all his life. In the seventies he served in Northern Ireland, and h became Assistant Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police in 1983. Thereafter he as successively Deputy Chief Constable, Humberside Police, Chief Constable, Cleveland Police, and Chief Constable, West Yorkshire Police. He was made New Labour's `Drug Tsar' in 1998, and resigned his position in July 2002. He is married with three children and lives in Yorkshire.