Friends of the

Metropolitan Police History

Officer 03

Location of interview:Bexley Heath

Officer's Gender:Male

Date joined Met Police:12 November 1967

Date left Met Police:12 November 1997

Rank of leaving:Detective Inspector

Divisons served:R, T, M, B, H, CO3, P, R

Specialist service:No specialities

Transcript of interview

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Track 2: 13'25”: Joining the Metropolitan Police: medical; Peel House; Sergeant, linen baskets; mention father's army service; fingerprints and sworn in; removal of a class colleague; examinations; instructors; bulling boots and day on the streets, Rochester Row; fatigues. Describes Peel House: marching; Christmas break; inspections; Chief Superintendent and worst dressed class; suede hush puppies; parades and early morning duties; discipline; broken boiler and greatcoats. Illness and back classed. Queuing on the stairs at tea breaks: food. Passing out: party; parade; Women Police Officers. Posted R Division; Westcombe Park; uniform.

Track 3: 21' 17”: First two years in Uniform: Greenwich Magistrate Court;  Court role playing in training; police Court Inspector; rugby; and Special Course. Westcombe Park: learning beats; advice from experienced Officers; traffic duties. Crime arrest: CID; reunions; first arrest; theft of potted plant; suspect skips bail to Edinburgh; sent with “Jock” to collect prisoner; Court and presenting evidence; conviction and sentence; local newspaper headline; Sergeant's comments; CID arrests.
Panda Car Driving; stolen car; radio and driving; suspect decamp; arrests driver; struggle and truncheon; subsequent conduct of prisoner; public attitude to police. Harry Roberts. Car “chase”; three police cars damaged; advice from Garage Sergeant; advice from Area Car Drivers; transport regulations; interview with Commander; reprimanded; aims for CID work.

Track 4: 21'17": Working with police colleagues: nature of duty for colleagues posted to central Divisions; undemanding work guarding Embassies; Probation training Hendon. Enjoyed working with colleagues; experienced Officers and paperwork; typing skills made him popular with older Officers. Police Driver Training: the quiet officer. Canteen hierarchy: playing cards. Women Police Officers; emotionally disturbed complainant; domestic dispute and violence; injury to Women Police Officer. No BME colleagues; Scottish and Irish; CID partner. Experience colleagues and paperwork.

Track 5: 20'19”: Off duty: had existing circle of friends and relatives; family life; wife and school gate; making a go of police career; rugby twice a week, Division and District. Effects of being late joiner: police functions; CID and socialising with police; Judo contacts; Midland Bank; gardening, cuttings and seed, rose and fuchsia; good for mental health; CID long hours; alcohol. CID: long hours; no pay for overtime; describes hours; demands of Detective Inspector; TDC and socialising with colleagues; change to police social life and balance. CID: work and life merged; looks back. R Division re-union. Sir Robert Mark and corruption; CID move every three years; moved around the Metropolitan Police District regularly. Rugby a release from frustrations of job: fitness levels in police; gardening; camaraderie of rugby; students' reactions to police teams; last game. Studying for Police Sergeants Examination: CID and passing Police Sergeants Examination; General Orders; promotion classes; time off for; Competitors and Qualifiers. Permanent CID: selection to Sergeant. Inspectors Examination: wife's reaction to extra work; Competitors and Qualifiers; change in rules Re-took exam to seek Competitor status;  Inspector. Graduate entry and degrees: Studies for Policing Degree at Portsmouth University; comments on; psychology and criminology; CID Course and Inspector's exemptions; studying and running a team; passes degree; promotion exams and learning new legislation; looks back on police career.

Track 6: 20'23": London's Communities: lived in London most of life; early ambitions to join police; attitudes of his community to police; late joiner and life experience; describes conditions of poverty in his community; police attitudes to working people; social mobility and changing attitudes; working class background of police officers; stereotyping. Conscious of own accent: learns different way of talking for bank work; Borough Market and reactions to his new accent. Police attitude to public; treating people as he would like to be treated;  attitudes of police cadets; Scottish and Irish friends; attitudes of wealthier residents of west London to Police. Catford: contacts with BME population; good relations; rising tensions in Brixton and Lewisham. Notting Hill and BME: promoted to Sergeant and posted there; illegal drinking parties; attends a Shebeen; describes conditions and people. Good relations with BME community; agitators created tensions and prevented integration. All Saints Road:  'No Go Area'; describes road and community; police reactions and practices; recognising BME suspects; observations and arrests away from road. Superintendent's and senior officers' reaction, planned operation; keenness of officers in his team; 30 arrests in first week; describes arrests and property recovered; BME child arrested; community reaction; deputation to police station. Local vicar offered drugs from child: story reported in Daily Telegraph. Raid on All Saints Road: positioned covertly in side road; ten officers in a hired removal van; arrest of dealers and their reaction.

Track 7: 23'16”: Continues All Saints Road: reaction of law abiding BME community; similar police operation continued after he was posted away. Moroccan community and knife crime. Nigerian community and fraud. Age of criminal: mainly under 30yrs old. Erith school: retail theft, shoplifting; the head teacher and thirty signed 'confessions'; interviews children and their parents; intelligence on widespread retail theft. Young people from poorer areas: fear of police; current attitudes to police by young people; attitudes of parents; Juvenile Bureau; views on effectiveness. Young and TWOC taking cars without consent;  fingerprints reveal further TWOC; admits to twenty incidents; charged with four incidents, 16 TIC offences taken into consideration; twenty years later was shot dead by armed police during a bank robbery; wonders if harsher sentence  would have prevented this outcome; views on prison. Violence against police: arrest of female drink  driver; describes incident; assaulted by female prisoner. Punched by suspect; reaction; and outcome. Effective communication with Londoners: whistling driver and experienced PC's reaction.; surliness of some officers. His attitude and way of communicating. Notting Hill and living the job: long hours; reaction of wife. Bangladeshi community: conflict between traditional attitudes of parents and attitudes of British born children; communicating through community elder; hospitality.

Track 8:  20' 45”: CID: early ambition to CID; good arrests while in Uniform; invited to join CID by DS; application and interview; Sergeants Examination; mundane tasks as TDC, dogsbody; good run of arrests; selected for permanent CID, as DC. P Division: burglaries; rapes; arrest Norris brothers. Forms Burglary Squad: success and computer records. Posted Regional Crime Squad: mobile criminals; George Davis arrest; tight security; sent on observations and surveillance without explanation; on holiday when Davis arrested. Detective Sergeant: posted Notting Hill; best posting; enjoyed the diversity of the community and the work arising. Runs Crime Squad: scrapping CID Course. Posted Elephant and Castle: Carter Street; relief team. Extradition Squad: arresting suspect by request from other jurisdictions; warrants and committals, Bow Street; CPS; CPS did not deal with extraditions; US Marshals and double murder. Osman case: longest serving remand prisoner; theft from Bank of Malaysia, Hong Kong. Immigration Raids. Forced Marriages. Promotion to Detective Inspector: posted to Limehouse; Canary Wharf development and murder rate. 3 Area Major Incident Pool: remains found on steps of women's refuge; Crimewatch and Police Five; changes to missing persons procedures and police attitudes. Cover Senior Investigating Officer's leave and deals with three murders. Promotion and Sheehy Report. Sheehy: equal opportunities; promotion; does not seek further promotion with only seven months service remaining; late joiner. Retirement. Running murders. Looks back.

Track 9: 25' 37”: Changing role of policing: Police Training School; Unit Beat Policing; Beat Officers and Panda Cars; radio shortages and limited range; numbers on patrol and deployment; losing contact with public. Recalls experience of policing as a boy. CID more contact with public through complainants and witnesses. Constant reform and paper work: computerisation; losing officers to data input; Crime Reports and reform thereof. Intelligence Led Policing: time lost in data input. Racial Crimes reporting. Reporting gets in the way of policing. Sir Ronald Flanagan. DNA. Failures of Intelligence Led Policing. Neighbourhood Policing. PCSOs. Excellence of Anti-Terrorist Squad. Robbery Squad victim of own success. Tensions between CPS and police; prosecution management; PC on the street: police boxes; IT in police vehicles; civilianisation; removing police from Courts; using police experience of retiring officers; TDC and DC; re-introduce Detective Training Course; TI.  Police on streets: response times. Reaction to CPS; loss of Court experience. PACE a good reform: new caution. Police numbers and crime rates; Crime Survey; manipulating figures; 'no crimes'; criminal damage. Looks back.

Track 10:  6' 42”:    Retirement job in Harrods department store.    Then in Department of Health investigating counterfeit products and medical devices. Training security guards.


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