Location of interview:South Ockenden Essex
Date joined Met Police:23 October 1967
Date left Met Police:26 October 1997
Rank of leaving:Chief Superintendent
Divisons served:C (Bow Street) L (Brixton), M (Peckham and Carter Street), R (Sidcup, Bexleyheath, Greenwich), N ( Kings Cross)
Specialist service:Discipline, Complaints, Inspectorate, Courts, Public Affairs
Transcript of interview
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Track 1: 29'31". Family life before joining the Metropolitan Police Force: life in Southall, father’s job, schooling in Bromley and University at Durham in Classics. Graduate Entry scheme route to entry to Police through University. Career progress and promotion through Metropolitan Police. Work before Metropolitan Police. Reasons for joining Metropolitan Police. Work in Brixton. Recruitment process: interview Borough High Street, use of new graduate entry scheme, interview with Sir John Waldren and Robert Mark and significance of University background to route into Metropolitan Police. Extended Interview in Eastbourne: Sir Arthur Young (Commissioner of London and Chairman of interview process). Meeting in Eastbourne with significant members of Metropolitan Police to introduce Graduates to force. Posted to Bow Street. Life as a graduate in the Metropolitan Police. Duties and shifts; life in section house in Beak Street. Life in Trenchard House. Engagement and marriage to fiancée. Move to married quarters in Prince Regent Lane. Training programme for thirteen weeks in Hendon. Living in Wanstead section house during training. Instructors and adjustment to Police training after academic training. Learning to be a Police Officer. Memories of fellow trainees. First year in Metropolitan Police Force after training in Bow Street. Reflections about Norwell Roberts’ experiences at Bow Street. Problems with shift work experiences. Policing Covent Garden Market. Developments in technology for Policing: beginning of coordinating traffic lights by electronic systems; ball-point pens. Emergency call procedures. Work as a Station officer and passing the Sergeants exam. Station duties in Brixton. Community living behind the Police station at Bow Street. Character of community policing.
Character of Police Officers: young and single officers. Middle Earth Club in Covent Garden and dealing with the emergence of drug crimes. Policing alcohol abuse and homelessness. Experiences in Brixton with the Afro-Caribbean community: problems and procedures in 1972. Crime in Brixton and role of black youth in robberies. Rise of race politics in Metropolitan Police Service and community policing. New crimes emerging: loud parties and alcohol. Relationship between the Police and black people before Brixton riots. Community tensions.
White workforce of the Police force. Pressures for officers working in Brixton. Policing Peckham. Police work with youth club in Peckham and community relations with Police officers. Working in Carter Street.
Track 2: 24’23”: Scotland Yard. Then promotion to Chief Inspector and work in Sidcup. Successful community relations in Sidcup. Review of the Force Structure: implications of reorganization for Bexleyheath; view that this resulted in a divisional organisation for community relations. Disruptive period for policing. Manpower shortages. Posted to Gerald Road. First three months there and experience with diplomatic premises. Policing pornography. Elizabeth Street Traders and community links. Diana and Prince Charles’ wedding; implications on Police/community relations following demands for celebratory parties. Colleagues’ experiences in Harrow and dealing with councillors. District complaints unit. Scotland Yard career management. Sir Kenneth Newman’s initiatives in Scotland Yard: Neighbourhood watch. Policing in Greenwich in light of Newman’s initiatives. Kenneth Livingstone and other left wing councillors role in Policing the community. Abolition of district Commanders under Newman and the Chief Superintendent’s subsequent role. Relations with Councillors. Growth of Neighbourhood watch groups in communities. Chief Superintendent in Kings Cross. Schemes and initiatives for neighbourhood watch. Discussion groups with the council and the community in Kings Cross. Metropolitan Police Authority’s relationship with local community groups in light of these developments in community policing. Improvement as a result of Kenneth Newman as Commissioner. Women in the Police. John Crisp’s conversations with integrating the women into the Police Force: Pay and duties. Steps towards equal opportunities. Women officers’ role in Peckham. Problems with leadership and supervising women in Police work. Patriarchy and paternalism in the Police force. Sexual abuse and bullying of female officers. Attitudes to women Police officers in community Policing.
Track 3: 6’06”: Social activities in Police Force: parties in Bow Street and sports days in Peckham. Changes in role of social activities for Police Officers. Increased pressures: restrictions on time due to work load and travel distance to work. Race relations with Metropolitan Police. Jewish community relations. Developments in different minority groups and their relations with the Police Force. Changes in communities of London and responsive Police Force. Stephen Lawrence enquiry in Greenwich. Divisional Chief Superintendent’s role in investigation. Sensitivities of local community and politics. Tensions with Police Force.