Published: Eye Books (July 2021)

ISBN: 9781785632624

Above the Law

Adrian Bleese


Adventures in a police helicopter

‘Engaging and enjoyable’

John Sutherland, author of Blue

Adrian Bleese spent twelve years flying on police helicopters, and attended almost 3,000 incidents, as one of only a handful of civilian air observers working anywhere in the world.

In Above The Law he recounts the most intriguing, challenging, amusing and downright baffling episodes in his career working for Suffolk Constabulary and the National Police Air Service. Rescuing lost walkers, chasing cars down narrow country lanes, searching for a rural cannabis factory and disrupting an illegal forest rave…they’re all in a day’s work.

It’s a side of policing that most of us never see, and he describes it with real compassion as he lives his dream job, indulging his love of flying, the English landscape and helping people. Perhaps more than anything, it’s a story about hope.





‘An engaging and enjoyable read, offering a perspective on policing unlike any other you will have come across before’

John Sutherland, author of Blue and Crossing the Line

‘Hugely entertaining and enlightening – brilliant!’

Catherine Larner


‘Adrian Bleese writes with real immediacy and warmth. He exhibits the dry, black humour so often evident in personnel within the emergency services, while also displaying a real compassion for the people whose lives he is observing, whether he is protecting them or pursuing them’

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‘An entertaining and enlightening account of a job that few of us will have considered as a career, but which Adrian Bleese always dreamed of doing. There’s much humour and warmth in his writing’

Suffolk Magazine

‘The ultimate police aviation book. Informative and full of pertinent humour, light but without losing the focus of a serious subject... What a delight it is’

Police Aviation News

‘Bleese’s account of everything from searching for missing to children to chasing cars and a whole bunch of other strange stuff he encountered during his 3,000 sorties is an interesting insight into a different world, its people and sometimes its politics’

Flyer Magazine

‘It felt like I did not have to read, but the book talked to me. If you are looking for an honest, from-the-heart tale, it’s a must-read’

B for Book Review

‘A genuinely absorbing read, written in an easy, jovial style, that showed me a side of the police service that I didn’t really know anything about. If you’re into occupational memoirs or interested in the police at all, then this has a lot to offer’

I Read Therefore I Blog



Adrian Bleese

Adrian Bleese was born and raised in the northwest of England before joining the Royal Air Force to fly on search-and-rescue and submarine-hunting missions. On leaving the RAF, he was stunned to discover that no one needed any submarines hunted and he was therefore forced to find a real job. Following some time working in advertising, he began working for Suffolk Constabulary and spent twelve years flying on police helicopters, attending almost 3,000 police tasks even though he was neither a policeman nor a pilot. He was one of only a handful of civilian air observers working anywhere in the world.

Flying and writing have been two of his lifelong abiding passions. He has had a monthly column in an aviation magazine and also written flight safety and aviation history features.

He has lived in East Anglia for more than twenty-five years, is a keen private pilot and has a great love for his adopted home, the countryside and its history. See more of his videos at

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