Friends of the

Metropolitan Police History

Period 1946 to date

Time Zone: 1976 - 1990


Richard Austin JAMES appointed Receiver.

Continuing I.R.A. terrorist activity during first part of year.

Police use protective shields used for first time - in Lewisham.

First Woman Chief Superintendent appointed to take charge of a sub­division.

The Metropolitan Women Police Association formed by Chief Superintendent Greta Drinkwater.

Feb - Concorde’s first flight from Heathrow.

Mar 15 - Mr Julius STEPHEN, West Indian driver of underground train, shot dead near West Ham.

Apr 9 - Peter HAIN found not guilty of stealing £400 from a Putney Bank in October 1975.

May - New Barnes Police Station opened.

May 11 - George DAVIS released.

Jul 1 - Donald NEILSON found guilty at Oxford Crown Court of murder of Lesley WHITTLE.

Aug - Police Act of 1976 received Royal Assent (An Act to establish a Police Complaints Authority).

Aug 30 - Notting Hill Carnival. Major rioting in which more than 400 officers and civil staff were injured.

Sep - Uniform: White shirts replaced blue shirts for Sergeants and Constables (Police Order 2 July 1976).

Oct 1 - George Cross awarded to the late Captain GOAD.

Nov - Trial of ‘Porn Squad’ Detectives.

Nov 27 - ‘Peace in Ulster’ rally in Trafalgar Square.


First female Traffic Officer - Dee O’Donoghue

Jan 11 - May WONG, leader of ‘Triad’ drugs gang, jailed at the Central Criminal Court for 14 years.

Jan 28 - Protective shields to be issued to the Metropolitan Police - Home Secretary’s announcement to the House of Commons.

Jan 29 - Bomb blasts in the West End.

Feb 9 - Balcombe Street gang sentenced at the Central Criminal Court.

Feb 28 - Trial at the Central Criminal Court of ex-Commander VIRGO and Ex Chief Supt MOODY and others.

Mar - Marylebone Lane police Station closed.

Mar 12 - Commissioner, Sir Robert MARK, Q.P.M. retired superseded by Mr David Blackstock McNEE, Q.P.M.

May 6 - The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Peel Centre, Hendon.

Jun 1 - Police Complaints Board became operative.

Jun 7 - Silver Jubilee Bank Holiday.

Jun 13 - Start of Grunwick mass picket.

Aug - Introduction of ‘anti-riot’ helmets.

Aug 13 - National Front march through Lewisham.

Aug 15 - National Front rally at Birmingham.

Aug 26 - ‘Scarman’ report on Grunwick published.

Aug 27 - Notting Hill Carnival.

Sep - New Addington Estate Police Office closed.

Oct 28 - Home Secretary opened the Fingerprint Videofile Computer.

Dec - Piccadilly line tube extended to Heathrow.


An enquiry into police pay by Lord EDMUND-DAVIES resulted in higher allowances and better pay to officers.

Issue of new style warrant card with photograph (Police Order 1 September 1978).

A First Aid team of women of the Metropolitan Police win the Grand Prior First Aid trophy a competition against leading teams from the commercial world.

Uniform: New style uniforms for Women Police introduced with ‘Butcher Boy’ hat. (Reverted to ‘Surrey hat 1979).

Georgy Markov murder on Waterloo Bridge by East European agent injecting miniature metal pellet into his leg.

Nov 13 - Brick Lane police office opened at 66 Brick Lane E1 (HR).

Nov - Thames Division contingent transferred from Erith to Blackwall.

Ruston Place (formerly Rillington Place) (Christie murders) renamed Bartle Road.


The Metropolitan Police celebrated its 150th year.

A new Force Inspectorate was formed to provide a close and continuing assessment of the efficiency of all units of the force.

First female dog handler - Nicola Gray (Police Review 24 April 1987).

Feb 19 - 60th Anniversary reception and Reunion Dinner of Metropolitan Women Police Association. Women Police Strength on 1st January 1979 was 1498. 5000th woman joined the service on 19th February - 60 years after the first group left training class.

May - Jubilee Line opened between Charing Cross and Stanmore.

Sep 3 - Blackwall Police Station (Thames Police) closed.


Alexander Douglas Gordon-Brown appointed Receiver.

PC Francis Joseph O’NEILL stabbed by suspect attempting to obtain drugs from a chemist’s shop in Lambeth.

Iranian Embassy siege brought to a successful conclusion after co-operation between the Metropolitan Police and the Special Air Service Regiment.

Formation of the Metropolitan Police Air Support Unit with its own Bell 222 helicopter.

Uniform: Introduction of new style tunic with no epaulettes or waist belt. Two breast pockets each with button and flap. Four buttons down front. (PO 25 of 22/8/1980).

Jan - Last Station Police Sergeant post with the retirement of SPS William Palmer from Highbury Corner Magistrates Court.


May - Brixton Riots involved the Metropolitan Police in the largest civil disturbance in the 20th century.

Jul - The Royal Wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer.

Oct 26 - Mr Kenneth HOWORTH, explosives officer, fatally wounded while investigating a suspect bomb in Oxford Street.


Sir David McNEE retired. Succeeded as Commissioner by Sir Kenneth NEWMAN.

‘Confidential Informations’ reduced to Tuesday and Thursday publication.

Inception of the Royalty Protection Department (Police Order 1 October 1982).

Mar - Part of Denham in District of South Bucks transferred from Thames Valley to the Met as part of ‘X’ District.

Apr-May - Introduction of Wheel Clamps


With the aid of the Metropolitan Police Policy Committee, Sir Kenneth NEWMAN devised a new statement of the Principles of Policing and in doing so revised and extended the primary objects of policing established by Richard MAYNE and Col. Sir Charles ROWAN in 1829.

Sep - First Woman Police Constable on Thames Division - Anne HUNT (‘The Job’ 23/9/1893).

Jul 1 - ‘Met sound’ sirens introduced on police cars.

Dec - WPC Jane Philippa ARBUTHNOT, PS Noel Joseph LANE and Insp Stephen John DODD killed by I.R.A. bomb explosion at Hans Crescent, Kensington.


WPC Yvonne Joyce FLETCHER murdered by gunfire from the Libyan People’s Bureau, St James’s Square.

PC Stephen John JONES run down attempting to stop drunken drivers for speeding on Seven Sisters Road, Holloway.

PC Jon GORDON lost both legs and part of a hand in the I.R.A. bomb attack on Harrods in 1983/ On 10 December 1984 he resumes duty by walking unaided up the steps of his new office.

Uniform: White cap covers issued to Traffic Officers, Constable to Chief Superintendent. (Police Order, 7 February 1984).

Shoeblacks - No further licences granted under the Metropolitan Streets Act 1867.

Jun - London Regional Transport Act. All offences on London Buses dealt with by Met instead of the British Transport Police.


Station Police Sergeant (SPS) rank ceased. New Custody Officer appointed (Sergeant). Charge Room to be known as the Custody Suite.

Sep 23 - Force Reorganisation - Eight Areas Established (Police Order 30 Aug 1985).

Oct 6 - PC Keith Henry BLAKELOCK (Wt No 176050) murdered during serious public disorder at Broadwater Farm, Tottenham (Awards for bravery - Police Order 23 August 1988).

DC John William FORDHAM stabbed while keeping surveillance on a suspected bullion receiver at West Kingsdown, Kent.

Reinforced ‘Bowler’ hat uniform introduced for female officers.


Identification Parade screens introduced at Clapham Police Station.

Greater London Council disbanded.

The Metropolitan Police Mounted Branch celebrated its 150th anniversary.

Jan - The Police and Criminal Evidence Act came into force.

Jan 30 - New Police Station opened at 25 Brick Lane E1 (HR).

Jan 13 - Police at Heathrow Airport armed with Heckler and Kock machine guns.

Jun -Broad Street (City) terminus closed (opened 1865).

Jun 29 - Dissolution of Districts (Police Order 3 June 1986).

Uniform: Introduction of two-letter divisional identification on epaulettes.


PC Ronan Konrad McCLOSKEY killed while clinging to a car which drove off after he attempted to administer a breath test to the driver in Kilburn.

Commissioner Sir Kenneth NEWMAN retired. Succeeded by Sir Peter IMBERT.

David Henry Jephson HILARY appointed Receiver.

Jan - Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush Divisions amalgamate.

Wapping Newspaper dispute ends.

Jan 12 - Special Patrol Group disbanded and reformed as the Territorial Support Groups.

Jun - New Police station opened at Thamesmead Estate.

Jul - Knightsbridge Safe Deposit Robbery.

Oct - Hurricane hits MPD.

Nov - Kings Cross fire.


The Commissioner stressed the need for close community liaison between the Police and Consultative Groups to foster the police/public partnership.

Licensing Act 1988 - to amend the Licensing Act 1964 ( Police Order 10 August 1988).

Mr Edgar MAYBANKS appointed Chief Commandant of the Metropolitan Police Special Constabulary (until 1994).

Jan - ‘Crime Stoppers’ first introduced.

Nov - Police Convalescent Home opened at Goring-on-Sea. Formerly at Hove.

Dec - 35 killed and 200 injured when 3 trains collided near Clapham Junction.


The ‘Plus Programme’ launched to improve the corporate image and quality of the service of the Metropolitan Police. It significantly altered attitudes within the service and included the Statement of Common Purpose and Values.

The Metropolitan Police became known as the Metropolitan Police Service.

Jan - New Spelthorne Division formed.

Apr - New Charing Cross Division formed.

Oct - New Belgravia Division formed.


PC Laurence Peter BROWN killed by suspect with a sawn-off shotgun in Hackney.

Riot in Trafalgar Square mirrored the 1887 riot in the same location.

Height limits removed for police recruits.

May - Force Logo introduced, making Armorial Bearings reserved for formal use (Job 11 May 1990)



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