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  • Sofia Cann

Inside The Met - The Real Line of Duty

The journey of a good police officer - Memoir of a former Murder Squad Detective Inspector

Photo: Former Murder Squad Detective Inspector, Paul Byrne. Photography by Stephen Young

Former Murder Squad Detective Inspector Paul Byrne never imagined he’d go from a 23-year-old naïve probationer to seeing his 25-year career in The Met ending with a battle against his own police force in order to hang on to his values, morals, beliefs, and his mental health.

Byrne, now aged 52, used humour and comedy to keep his spirits up after witnessing the horrors many police officers see during their service, but for Byrne, it was also what he had witnessed inside The Met Police by those who also swore an oath to the Queen (now King) to protect and serve. His book Call the Police – There’s a Comedian Around gives the reader an insight into what it’s really like when you go into policing to help your community and realising your main battle will be against your own colleagues in blue. The book, released in March 2024 is a memoir of Life in the Met.

The book is dedicated to two women DI Byrne saw perish in a house fire in Shepherds Bush in 1995 when he was very young in service. Five flat mates were saved, but sadly Paul was unable to save the two women. After all the wrongdoing and corruption he witnessed in his career, Paul wanted the women to be remembered.

Paul Byrne, now stand-up comedian, writer, and actor/performer was a police officer in the Metropolitan Police where he progressed to the rather intense roles of missing persons and calling the shots as a Tactical Firearms Commander on firearms incidents and hostage-takers.  He worked as a Detective Sergeant in the Murder Squad before becoming a Detective Inspector. 

Byrne’s career helped him become a unique individual who combines a wealth of experience as a senior police officer with a flair for writing and presenting and a genuine passion for helping others. 25 years of policing experience across a wide variety of roles including emergency response, CID, homicide, and local community policing, creates a credible, accomplished, and transformational leader with integrity, compassion and resilience. An experienced supervisor with Missing People, he has the skills and ability to engage with and support vulnerable people and partner agencies.

In 2019 Paul left the Met Police after 25 years deciding the life of comedy is more for him, and what a plethora of experiences he has been able to select his material from.

Paul Byrne said: “I joined the police because I thought I could make a difference. Sadly, you can’t always make a difference when you are battling against bad apples, those who abuse their power and status. One step forward and two leaps back. It ended for me after 25 years and what a ride, it’s been. 

“There is something profound about realising someone you’ve worked with, someone you’ve socialised with and talked about football with, is bent. A bent cop who is friends with other bent cops and the whole thing is a sham. I think the fact that the F word appears 54 times in my memoir of policing tells my story far more eloquently than I even can.

“I really feel for victims, survivors and the good police officers who run towards danger and have to fight battles to expose their colleagues who abuse the public and break the law.”

Paul volleys an extreme satirical performance at his audience, holding nothing back and with plenty of swears to delight the audience and to break the taboos in policing.  Paul has appeared at several fringe festivals and remains extremely active in producing online video content and animation.  He has a successfully published novel along with several short stories, and now releases his memoir Call the Police - There’s a Comedian Around

The comedic guru, Radio TV and stage broadcaster and actor Arthur Smith has mentored Paul for the past few years as he instantly recognised and appreciated the original, surrealist humour Paul portrayed. ​

Arthur Smith said: "Paul Byrne is the funniest and most bonkers ex detective there has ever been. His debut book is a fascinating account – full of tragic and hilarious stories shot through with Byrne’s wonderful appreciation of the absurdity of life.”

Paul has performed with Arthur Smith on stage across the country including Bedford, Exeter, Derby, Chester, Selby, Masham, Halifax, and Leeds. Paul is currently finalising his solo show ‘All Coppers Are B*st*rds - My Life in Policing’ ready to perform in front of an audience. He has also recently been cast as 'Harry' in the Alan Ayckbourn play 'Confusions' which will be performed at The Great Barn, Shamley Green (near Guildford) on Sunday 19 May 2024.

Originally from Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, Paul Byrne now lives in Surrey with his wife and his three younger children, and continues to champion victims, survivors and good police officers.

For more information and to purchase the book, visit the Scratching Shed Publishing website.

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For more information, to request a review copy of the book and arrange media interviews, contact Sofia Cann, Publicist.

Paul Byrne


Book information:

A Funny – and Tragic – Memoir of Life in the Met

by Paul Byrne


“A fascinating account – full of tragic and hilarious stories shot through with Byrne’s wonderful appreciation of the absurdity of life…” – ARTHUR SMITH


On sale from 22 March 2024

Price: £12.99


Paul Byrne joined London’s Metropolitan Police by mistake. By day a Detective Inspector, by night a stand-up comedian, this is a memoir of law enforcement not exactly going to plan. DI Byrne walked a tightrope of death, destruction and disaster, much of it caused by himself. From a near-death experience at the hands of the Australian SAS to causing a diplomatic incident with North Korea, it was a hell of a ride. Yet sucked into a dark and troubling whirlpool of police corruption, eventually he would be forced out of the service a broken man. Paul remains the only serving police officer to be mugged on duty – and the only one to be sacked for writing satire. His story shines an amusing, and at times horrifying, light into the darkest corners of Britain’s largest police force.

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