A portrait of an area and the inherent social interactions between youth, crime and the law, this book describes Hackney and east London, but also provides a commentary on a wider narrative familiar to all urban nocturnal clashes.
Robin Maddock spent three years accompanying local police going about their work in Hackney, east London. His photographs uncovered both a seedy nocturnal narrative, meandering through a young, and often underage, world of drugs and crime, but also a wider perspective of society and its interactions with the law today. An endless cycle of raids and arrests that never make the local newspapers, drugs are the most prized aspect of the raid, valued equally by both sides. Usually glamorous in their absence, they become visible only through confrontations, weapons, and a tide of visitors to the house of the parents.
Glimpses of arrests and domestic and drug paraphernalia, set against the transient backdrop of fleeting Hackney street corners and stairwells, it will be familiar to but a few. The series shows a cast of characters on both sides of the law playing out their scenes with the mundane daily grind of a resigned and well-played ritual.
Iain Sinclair, the esteemed writer on the history of London who lives in Hackney and is also the recent author of a major survey of the area, has provided the introduction to the book.