Forced Out | Granta

Forced Out

Kevin Maxwell

Kevin Maxwell was a dream candidate for the police force – he had a long-held desire to serve his community, a strong moral compass and a clear aptitude for both the strategic and practical aspects of policing. And, as a gay black man from a working class family, he could easily have been a poster boy for the force’s stated commitment to equal opportunities. Joining just after the 9/11 attacks, Kevin entered policing determined to keep communities safe in the face of a changing world. But instead he came up against entrenched prejudice, open racism and homophobia. For more than ten years, Kevin strove against the odds, until he took the force to an employment tribunal – with devastating results.

Forced Out is a revelatory exposé combining deeply affecting memoir with sharp analysis and a fascinating insider perspective on day-to-day life in the force. It is a touchstone for the silent many who have either tried to ignore abuse for the sake of their career or who have been bullied out of their jobs. It paints a sobering portrait of an institution that has not yet learned the lessons of the past and whose prejudice is informing the cases it chooses to investigate and the way it investigates them. And it asks the important question: what needs to change?


  • Published: 07/05/2020
  • Trade Paperback 2
  • ISBN: 9781846276804
  • 352 pages

One of the most compulsive books I've read in a long while. Maxwell's experiences as a black gay policeman demonstrate how far we have to go as a country when the institution created to protect us persecutes us instead. I was shocked and saddened at the systemic discrimination and corruption directed at him by his colleagues and superiors, and how they closed ranks to cover their tracks

Bernardine Evaristo

Kevin is an example of what the police force needs in its ranks: a gay, black man from an ordinary family. [And yet] his career was destroyed by unaccountable, untouchable senior officers who don't like different ... We all need to read accounts like this to understand the mechanics of inequality so that it can be dismantled

Gurpal Virdi, author of, Behind the Blue Line

The Author

Kevin Maxwell served as a detective in both the Greater Manchester and London’s Metropolitan Police forces. He now writes and advocates for social justice and equality. He has written for newspapers and magazines including the Independent and the Guardian, and has appeared on television and radio for the BBC and Sky News.

More about the author →