Friends of the

Metropolitan Police History

Officer 05

Location of interview:Chelmsford

Officer's Gender:Male

Date joined Met Police:31 May 1965

Date left Met Police: 1 April 1981

Rank of leaving:Constable

Divisons served:

Specialist service:CID

Transcript of interview

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Track 2: 04'10”: Life before the Metropolitan Police: family, school. Work as mechanical engineering apprentice for agricultural machines manufacturer. National Service with RAF: continues mechanical engineering apprenticeship. On leaving RAF: Avro aircraft manufacturer; and mining engineer. Joins Nottinghamshire Police as Special Constable: works as village PC; poaching and burglaries; training and equipment.  Joins Metropolitan Police.

Track 3: 16'13”: Joining the Metropolitan Police: not tall enough for Nottinghamshire Police; writes to Home Secretary, Roy Jenkins; advised to join Metropolitan Police. Interview, medical and examination Borough High Street. Education in RAF. Attested New Scotland Yard: Assistant Commissioner Andrew Way. Moving to London: accommodation and excitement of living and working in a city. Gerald Road. Police Training School, Hendon: late joiner; learning and examinations; rote learning; assessment process; Junior, Intermediate, and Final examinations; practical training; role play; exercises; and court training. Describes Hendon: accommodation; sports facilities; wearing police uniform and drill; police helmets; and knowledge from RAF training.  Describes other Joiners: later joiner; young recruits; haircuts; class captain due to military background;  Background of Joiners; recruited from all over UK; occupations of recruits. BME: overseas students; officer from Egypt. Describes Training Staff: fire drills and learns lesson for life; opinion of instructors.

Track 4: 24' 25”: Posted A Division: passing out; family move to London; reports Cannon Row posted Gerald Road; learning beats; and attitude of experienced officers. Early experiences: first arrest of female drunk; Albert Hall; drunkenness and theft. Lady Powell (Baden-Powell); breakfast with Neville Chamberlain's wife; guarding Sir Enoch Powell after the “Rivers of Blood” speech; firearms; fixed point, Bolivian Ambassador's Residence; turkey sandwiches and a 'robbery'; finding a replacement turkey on Christmas day. Fixed point duties: 46 embassies on A Division; Suez Crisis and the six embassies; IRA terrorism; uniforms and cold weather.  Fixed Traffic Point duty; prank by Ambulance driver and retaliation. Walking a Beat: police driver training; 24 Beats; length of beats; variations; length and activity. Describes beats. Street offences and street skills; pick pockets; thieves; sex crimes; prostitutes and pimps; street betting; parking disputes; and, shops and theatres. Police boxes and communications. Caught Off Beat and Section by Inspector;  theft of motorbike arrest and commendation. Describes local community: Ebury Bridge and Peabody Estates; densely populated; Pimlico; the potter and his wife; domestic dispute; assaulted with wet pots; murder; armed robbery. Irish community: good relations.

Track 5: 6'13”: Harry Roberts murdered three officers at Shepherd Bush (Braybrook Street): Q car returned to service with blood stains still apparent; Police Federation action and car removed from service; attends fund-raiser for widows, Hyde Park Hotel, with wife; arming Q cars; Roberts evaded arrest; death penalty suspended; Opinion on murder and death penalty. World Cup: watches at home; broken chandelier; comments on match and England team.

Track 6: 9'07”: A Division. Operation Crow Bar: move from Norman Shaw Building to current New Scotland Yard; supervising a group of removal men; confidential documents; and describes process. Comments on building: current NSY fit for purpose; finding way around buildings, compares; entrances and lack of parking. Armlets decommissioned: describes and use of; off duty and incidents. Moves to Ebury Street, Victoria: late for work; late for work at CID Course Hendon; Wednesday nights out.

Track 7: 44'40": Grosvenor Square Riot; first posted French Embassy, Hyde Park Corner; moved to Downing Street; saw Tariq Ali delivering petition; apple throwing incident. Posted Grosvenor Square: linking arms to hold back crowd; armed American Marine in Embassy; head injury; attends hospital; mess in square; injuries, knitting needle attack on police horse; CID plain clothes officer 'arrested'; no refreshments; Vietnam War protests; damage to property. Behaviour of protesters: Vanessa Redgrave; brick throwing; damage to Oxford Street and Piccadilly Circus; missiles; officers and head injuries; officers streaming with blood; opinion on demonstrators; no public order training; Shield Training; truncheons and armed Officers; pushing and shoving. Truncheons: night duty and Young's Fishmongers; throwing truncheon; a cardboard cut-out; checking premises; markers; disturbs courting couple. Arrests: behaviour of suspects; assault on police; help from public; grounds for arrest; solid gold watches. Custody procedures and Station Sergeant: paperwork; CRO Forms; fingerprints and photographs; typing; CRO procedures; fingerprint officers; learning and support. Pocket Books; written in pencil; no rubbing out; every incident recorded; CID not carrying forms; protecting yourself; revenge from villains. Supervision Beat Patrol officers: probation; distraction burglary of Off License and police discipline. Police discipline: complaints against police; rubber heelers;  misconduct; strict discipline and fines; opinion of discipline; signing pocket books; Sergeants. Dishonesty:   Leaves CID over concerns about others' corruption: Sir Robert Mark. Concerned to protect his family's future by not being involved: bottles of scotch for Detective Chief Inspector. Theft of televisions case: falsely claimed information reward and bribery. Relations between Uniform and CID:  advice on cases from CID.

Track 8: 25' 57”: CID Chelsea: Serpentine Murder Squad; normal CID duties. Arrest of famous people: drugs; cannabis; Rolling Stones. Drugs raid: shotgun found. Detective Training Introductory Course: Vine Street; Vine Street Murder; unfortunate telephone call; observation skills and photographs; leaves CID due to wife's illness. Village Policeman for Westminster: Gerald Road; theft from Chelsea Barracks, describes the swill man case; searches must be complete. Assault with a meat cleaver: attempted murder charge reduced; unhappy with sentence. Deaths of children; stillborn boy found in rubbish; cigars to mask smells; death post mortem examination; describes trauma to officers. Anne Long murder: describes case; Opinion about judge's rulings on admissible evidence in case and lenient sentence.

Track 9: 15'55”: Women Police Officers: limited shifts and duties of Women Police Officers; responsibilities for women and children; question physical strength and dangers to Women Police Officers; Integration; effective officers; excel in CID; typing. BME Officers; Norwell Roberts; widespread opposition to idea of recruiting BME Officers. BME Scenes of Crimes Officer; greater numbers of BME officers recruited towards end of his career. Views on senior officers:  Sir John Stevens. Senior officer supportive during wife's illness.

Track 10: 14'44”: Life on Relief: later joiner; harassment;  discipline; micky taking during first 6-7 weeks, then part of team; not all officers cope well with this. Loss of trust: sudden death and allegation of 'missing' money; money not in fact missing. Hertz rental car missing property; locked away for safe keeping by Hertz employee whilst on holiday. Poor investigation and weak leadership. Most officers honest: public opinion of police honesty. Working with special constables: Social Life: Gerald Road social club and sports.

Track 11: 10'52”: London communities: Gerald Road Community Police Officer; describes police station area; working people and rich areas; the Webbers family; shop keepers; crime prevention and the elderly; Banks; Lister Institute; Chelsea pensioners. BME communities; black family; no diversity training; taking people on merits; arrest of black suspect. Homeless women/missing person returned to aristocratic family. Young people and anti-social behaviour; talking to young people with respect and confidence.

Track 12: 6'10”: Three young children abandoned by mother on parapet to Thames: children fall into river; attempts rescue; trapped in river mud; he is rescued by other Officers; cleaning off the river mud. All three children die: bodies recovered by Thames Division Officers. Trauma to Officers: police humour way of distancing self from traumatic experiences. Officer Safety.

Track 13: 6'02”: Civil Defence Training: ordered to shoot civilians breaking the law; would have refused order; briefings relating to fallout, radiation, tactics and American military strategy; potential outcomes of bombing central London and contingencies; Lippetts Hill; mock battles and operations. Largely treated as a joke by officers.

Track 14: 29'40”: S Division; West Hendon Police Station; lives in police accommodation; CID, works with good officers. Case of underwear thief, describes case. Mentions Golders Green murder; Cricklewood Riots; owner of Ronson Lighters bets on police response time/. Detective Training Course; intensive; rote learning of law and procedures; comments on usefulness of course; practical training and role play; charging suspects and courts; Scenes of Crimes; drugs and poisons; interview techniques; media training; Judges' Rules. Injured on duty: first injury Notting Hill disturbances 1976; describes incident and injuries; medical injury. Robbery, Mill Hill: describes incident assaulted with crow bar; 3.5 years in hospital; medical discharge. Complains of lack of support from Metropolitan Police and Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. Runs shop and Post Office in retirement. Comments on career.


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