As I read the book following our interview, I learnt of Neil's work in nightclubs, busting dealers that were pushing drugs to revellers. It's work that I'm sure he'd freely admit did nothing to dent the 'war on drugs'. So when London nightclub Fabric closed, it got me thinking. What will this mean for the city, and it's criminals? I called Neil to get his thoughts.
London already has much of what is needed to be at the centre of a cluster of innovation that will ultimately rival any other in the world. We stand at the threshold of making it happen at scale and we should seize the opportunity to create another major economic string to London and the UK's bow.
When the new Indian family moved in and bought the shop, I was selfishly very happy. As a seven year old, I was over the moon that 'proper' Indians had moved in and my mother and I were no longer the only 'Pakis' in the village. They had two children the around same age as me. They were darker than me, they had Indian names, they were Hindu and they owned a shop.
But of course Samuel Johnson didn't live in Tottenham. Nor did he have to pay for parking. And nor, I suspect, did he have to get three kids to the swimming pool during rush hour. In fact, I bet there is a whole range of things that if Samuel Johnson had to do today he would more than likely head straight back to the peace of Staffordshire from whence he came.
Intrigued by this spirit of community-led free fitness, Vahan Hovhannisyan (the founder of Look Mate socks) and I, who met at a free fitness class, decided to test-run the best that London has to offer by attending different clubs every day of the week.
This came to mind last week when someone set a fire alarm off in the building opposite and the fire brigade came out at 10pm. Aside from insects and birds, it's only the second time there's been noise past sunset since I departed London.
Did Shakespeare gain experience of the real estate world during his lost years (1588 - 1592) through some sort of commercial or legal apprenticeship, or did he draw on first-hand knowledge gained once he started to make his way in London as a writer? What we do know is that Shakespeare had first-hand experience of a particularly combative lease renewal which threatened the very source of his own prosperity.
We know how lucky we are to have the NHS and it's services, spanning physical and mental health care. Sometimes though, we leave with our bodies healed, and our spirits a little diminished. If you have spent time visiting a loved one in a mental health unit, a situation that curator Niamh White and artist Tim A Shaw found themselves in, you may come away thinking that the environment of these units could do with some care.
At times like these, it's even more important than usual to have a variety of voices making sense of events. The diversification of online media has started to see a wider range of journalists, bloggers and social commentators developing their voices. But we need diverse artists too, to help us re-examine the past, question the present and imagine the future.
A few days before the carnival, I was warned that I should possibly get out of the neighbourhood with my young daughter. "It's going to get dirty and there is a lot of violence...shops are locked down," said a stranger waiting behind me at Gails. "You're better off going somewhere safe." I was curious to face the looming carnival and coming out alive.
In 2015, a massive 58% of live births in London were to mothers who themselves were born outside the UK. For contrast, this compares to 11% of births in the North East region of England (the lowest proportion) and 27% for England and Wales as a whole.
The long and the short of it is that I genuinely believe living in London (or nearby - I spent a couple of years commuting in from Reading, but that's a separate story) over the last decade or so has made me a slightly worse person.
Our current approach of criminalising drug use, in the hope that it dissuades people from taking drugs, is a failure; the numbers of drug-related deaths in England, Wales, and Scotland are currently the highest ever recorded. It's time for the UK to change its approach to drug use.
Much of the conversation since has been on the cost of funding to Olympic Sports (although most comes from the Lottery Fund). Is it worth it? Here in this park, watching young people come together to do calisthenics (body-weight exercise), the answer is definitely yes.
Make no mistake, as London expands its Night Tube operation with the goal of being a fully 24hr city in the next decade or so, there will be a massive impact on London's economy, but it won't be more clubbing.
Many artists have used stunts to gain attention. For example, Christo caused a blockade with oil barrels in 1962 in a Paris street, which claimed the front page the following day. It is essential for artists have to promote themselves or they will sit with their work in a vacuum.