Friends of the

Metropolitan Police History

Officer 07

Location of interview:Slough

Officer's Gender:Female

Date joined Met Police: 1 March 1976

Date left Met Police:26 April 2002

Rank of leaving:Constable

Divisons served:Y Tottenham, St Ann's Road, Hornsey. Home beat

Specialist service:Recruiting section. Federation Representative

Transcript of interview

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Track 2: 1' 48”:  Family background in Kettering.  Father on railway and had allotment.  Eldest of four children.  School. Enjoyed sports, hockey and tennis.

Track 3: 1' 17”:  Early life at school. Enjoyed singing at school and in church.  Member of Brownies and Girl Guides. Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

Track 4:  0' 32”:  Kettering High School and Polytechnic.

Track 5: 5' 37”:  Early life, working in plastics factory.  Barmaid at football club.  Accepted for WRNS but did not join because of mother's illness. Met detective in bar and expressed interest in joining police service in Northamptonshire, who were not recruiting at time.  Too short at 5' 3.5” for Leicestershire.  Worked for Post Office.

Track 6:  3' 05”:  Recruitment process:  Interview of parents by local police sergeant.  Attended the recruitment centre at 6 Harrow Road. Medical examination in morning. Interview by police officers.

Track 7:  3' 08”: Training at Peel Centre, Hendon, aged 23 years.  40 Constables of whom 9 were female. Three Stages.  Week 11 spent on Division. Posted to St Ann's Road police station, Tottenham, guided by parent constable.  Becoming used to black residents and city life.

Track 8:  1' 09”:  Investigation of black boys interfering with car door handles, and support from their father.

Track 9:  6' 09”:  Widely-based activities in duties of police officers. Sudden deaths.  Post mortem. Macabre practical joke.  Traffic accidents.  Serious injury to female officer involved in road traffic accident. Night duty and being surprised by black cat in a quiet street.  Shoplifting squad at Wood Green. Searching of prisoner who transpired to be male rather than  female.

Track 10:  5' 24”:  1976 integration of women police duties. Only female on duty on District. Improvement of uniforms with trousers rather than skirts. Patrolling with black officer and antagonism towards black officers at Hornsey.  Selected for home beat. Talking in school and entry into classroom despite disapproval of head teacher.

Track 11:  1' 22”:  Senior District officers posted to Wood Green.  Ran District netball team, and note from Commander when she resigned from running the team.

Track 12: 1' 44”: Description of her home beat.  Two council estates. Youth crime. Thefts of cycles.  Barmaid at Social Club.

Track 13:  6' 51”:  Duty at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.  Murder connected with football match. Broadwater Farm Estate, and murder of fellow home beat officer at Hornsey, Keith Blakelock in riot. Seconded to Press Office. Tribute to officer on radio. Visits to injured officers in hospital, suffering with shotgun and knife wounds.

Track 14: 1' 27”: Regular demonstrations and football match duty at weekend. Call from her own father after Yvonne Fletcher had died outside Libyan People's Bureau.

Track 15: 5' 49”:  Attended promotion classes against her wishes. Ambition to remain patrolling her beat.  Attended local youth club and contact with Recruiting Team. Expressed interest in joining Recruiting Section. Campaign to recruit ethnic minority candidates in Haringey. Bought her own motorcycle but fell off and decided against Traffic Branch.  In September 1985 became first female police officer to gain HGV Class 1 licence to enable her to drive the Recruiting Section articulated lorry, and was invited to attend 'Woman of the Year' lunch at Savoy hotel.

Track 16: 3' 42”:  Recruiting section duties.  Driving Mobile display Unit to Durham, Wales, Germany and elsewhere.  Visiting schools in Germany.

Track 17: 1' 50”:  Satisfaction of seeing successful recruits progressing well. Left Recruiting section in 1988.

Track 18: 1' 40”:  Went to Barnet with Mobile Display Unit and was invited to transfer to a home beat at Golders Green in 1988.

Track 19: 4' 39”:  Return to police duty after introduction of PACE. Frequency of female officers wearing trousers.  Improvement in technology. Improvement in dealing with rape investigations.  Became specialist officer dealing with sexual offence victims.

Track 20: 3' 28”: Home Beat at Hampstead Garden Suburb regarded as boring by some police officers. Celebrity residents. Introduction of Neighbourhood Watch, about 30-40 schemes covering 80% of area. Personal Safety talks. Driving Talks. Reduction of burglaries.  Enduring relationships.

Track 21: 2' 0”:  Walked several miles each day. Played squash. Swimming.  Popmobility. Fitness test.

Track 22: 8' 16”:  Assistance with early morning raid for armed robbery suspects to deal with female suspects.  Poll Tax Riot 1991 (?) and duty in Whitehall, retreating from violence.  Took injured officer to hospital.  Took on role of coordinating police casualties at St Thomas's hospital. Shock of dealing with injured colleagues.  Assaulted whilst issuing parking tickets when female motorist drove car at her and injured her.  Attempt by defence barrister to diminish seriousness of the case.

Track 23: 5' 02”: Female Police Federation representative for NW Area of London.  Trained in health and safety issues. Held office for 6 years.  Due to be transferred under transfer policy notwithstanding Federation Representative status. In 1999 seriously injured in accident on holiday and never regained full fitness for patrolling duty. Medical retirement after 26 years' service after performing some office roles.

Track 24: 1' 12”: Police service cut short by accident. Medically retired in April 1992.

Track 25: 1' 54”: Support of Federation Representative and Home Beat Sergeant. Placed on half pay after 6 months' sick leave, and disappointment with Chief Superintendent and Human Resources Department.

Track 26: 2' 13”:  After retirement, joined civil staff dealing with major sports stadia. Offered a job as radio operator in Wembley Stadium.

Track 27: 2' 43”:  After retirement, travelled to Los Angeles, Fiji, Australia, Singapore, and other parts of the world.  International Police Association.  Employed as travel manager.

Track 28: 6' 03”: Memories of comradeship, friends and spirit of the police organisation.  Views about modern trends in policing. Joined International Police Association (IPA) in 1984.  International friendships. Saw Denis Nielson, multiple murderer, in the cells at Hornsey.  Enjoyed career in the Police service.

 

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