Friends of the

Metropolitan Police History

Officer 14

Location of interview:Pinner

Officer's Gender:Male

Date joined Met Police: 3 January 1954

Date left Met Police:11 March 1990

Rank of leaving:Commander

Divisons served:A, G, D, S

Specialist service:Community Liaison Officer. Public Order

Transcript of interview

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Track 1: 10'48": Early life: family; schooling; hobbies; employment; and sport. National Service with RAF.  Recruitment to Metropolitan Police. Family and community attitudes to police.

Track 2: 9'24”: Police Training at Metropolitan Police Training School, Hendon: Women Police Officer recruits; relevance of police training; Court police training; Probation and Posting process. Posted Paddington. Police Accommodation.

Track 3: 1'50”: Posting process.

Track 4: 9'00”: Probation at Paddington: describes Ground; uniform Beat Patrol; Police Vehicles; fellow police Officers; local communities; police training classes; Police Communications. Roles of Jailer; Reserve Officer; and Wireless Car. Police training and Promotion.

Track 5: 7'02”:  Court experience: night duty arrests; giving evidence; Magistrates, Solicitors and Counsel.

Track 6: 7'08”: Police shift patterns in 1950s: impact on social life; annual leave and time off.

Track 7: 16'40”:  Promotion to Sergeant: 1st and 2nd Class Civil Service Examinations; and Police pay.  Role of wives; Promotion and roles of Sergeant, Station Sergeant and Inspector. Competitive Police Examinations. Promotion Course at Metropolitan Police Training School, Hendon: and rote learning for police examinations. Police Constable to Sergeant. Posted Bow Street. Roles of  Women Police Officers: Women Police Officers' relations with male Police Officers; Women Police Officers police training; role of Civilian Matrons; Women Police Officers and the public.

Track 8: 8'21”: Communities policed: growth of a British Minority Ethnic population; Macpherson Report. British Minority Ethnic (BME) promotion: Stephen Lawrence Case.

Track 9: 12'09”: Sergeant at Bow Street: role of Inspector; South Africa House; Anti-Apartheid Campaign and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament demonstrations; and processing arrests. Promotion to Station Sergeant by Competitive Police Examination: and Sir Joseph Simpson. Posted to Tower Bridge: describes ground, Bermondsey;  attitudes to police; and acting Duty Officer. Promotion to Inspector: Area and Central Boards; A Course at Police College; and comments on course.

Track 10: 5'11”: Posted as Inspector to Rochester Row: role of Inspector; Ceremonial Duties; six beats acquired from Gerald Road adding Pimlico; ordinary police duties; police training for new Police Officers; and police accommodation married quarters, Ebury Street.

Track 11: 1'34”: Sport at Rochester Row. Background to BBC interview on life in Metropolitan Police.

Track 12: 2'53”: Interview with BBC World Service: young Police Constable photographed on crowd control  when Beatles invested with MBE; and Police Constable's interview with Daily Sketch and consequences.

Track 13: 17'12”: Follow up interview 6th February 2009. Rochester Row: changes from traditional policing to modern policing techniques during time there; traditional tour of police duty; and roles of Police Constable, Sergeant, Inspector therein. Changes while at Rochester Row: Traffic Wardens, Personal Radios, and Panda cars. Demonstrations and Public Order: Grosvenor Square Riot; violence against police; Public Order training; and Police Officer safety equipment and carrying handcuffs. Notting Hill Carnival. Changes to man-management, intelligence and decision making. Race relations conflict between police and British Minority Ethnic public. Role of Inspectors. Attitudes to Personal Radios and Panda Cars; and public criticism of police Panda Cars. Police Driver Training.

Track 14: 2'22”: Rochester Row:and  takes classes for Police Constables undertaking police examinations for promotion

Track 15: 12'07”: Promotion to Chief Inspector, 1969: buying own home; posted to Barnet; promotion by Board and Recommendation; changes from Central London to suburban policing; and Senior Police Officers' accommodation. Supervision of Police Officers. Angry Brigade bombing Home Secretary's house, Hadley Green. Role of Chief Inspector.

Track 16: 11'04”: Role and responsibilities of Chief Inspector. Complaints Against Police: Thurso Boy, 1963; Police and Criminal Evidence Act;. Form 163; Form 164; Police Officer's right to silence; Rank and File attitude to Form 163. Investigating Complaints against police.  Role as Community Liaison Officer; and work with Divisional Juvenile Bureau. Dealing with Complaints Against Police prior to 1963. Criminal Complaints Against Police. Traffic Offences; A10. Independent Police Complaints Commission; and public attitudes to Complaints Against Police.

Track 17: 12'06”: Role of Community Liaison Officer: Community Liaison Officer for Barnet; and role as head of Divisional Juvenile Bureau. Community groups and schools;  Road Safety from Traffic Division; ITV film on Public Order at seaside resorts; Asians refugees in Barnet after expulsion from Uganda; Jewish community; demonstrations and Community Liaison Officers; and Rhodesia House. Re-introduction of rank of Superintendent. Promoted by Board and Recommendation to Superintendent: posted Barnet. Role of Superintendent: Barnet FC v Queens Park Rangers; and first Public Order command. Violence against police. Posting to Metropolitan Police Training School.

Track 18: 11'09”: Role of Superintendent at Metropolitan Police Training School: regular hours; Officers' morale; learning way School worked; instilling staff discipline; Sir Ian Blair; work-load of students; selecting Officers; new Peel Centre at Hendon; and HM the Queen visits. Deputy to Chief Superintendent at School; visit to Scottish Police College; provides plimsolls for Officers at Balcombe Street Siege; Chief Inspectors at Metropolitan Police Training School.

Track 19: 2' 57”:  Sent on Intermediate Command Course, Police College, January 1974: major incidents; royal visits; Parliamentary matters; and wins debating competition.

Track 20: 14'33'': Promotion by Board and Recommendation to Chief Superintendent. July 1976: posted Officer-in-Charge, West Central; describes Ground; instilling management control; Royal Duties; IRA terrorism; Police Bomb Cars; and Royal Command Performances. Annual Reporting; Complaints Against Police; and presents first case to Discipline Board at New Scotland Yard.

Track 21: 5'56”: Police Shield Training at Hounslow: Public Order Serials; nominating Police Officers for Crime Squads; and visit of Merlyn Rees, Home Secretary.

Track 22: 4'13”:  Q Divisional Chief Superintendent: Brent and Harrow; Role as deputy to Divisional Commander; running Division in Commander's absence; Wembley Stadium; and police communications.

Track 23: 20'47”: Wembley Stadium and Public Order: Taylor Report; liaison with stakeholders; Q Division Commanders; and Public Order duties Central London. Commanding Shield Serials at Notting Hill Carnival: Training and briefing of Police Shield Serial; and Commissioner's visit to police training session. Politics in London Borough of Brent: Special Patrol Group and prevention of crime; and Blair Peach; Further aspects of time on Q: Complaints Against Police; acting Commander Barnet; and instructs Sergeants being promoted to Inspector.

Track 24: 4'27”: Q Divisional Chief Superintendent: 200th Anniversary of birth of Sir Robert Peel; and lunch at New Scotland Yard meeting Shirley Williams, Home Secretary.

Track 25: 20'47”: Promotion to Commander: promotion by invitation of Commissioner;  posted to G Division, Hackney; previous Commander and sensitivities over National Front demonstration; local politicians and attitudes to police; local Members of Parliament; and shortness of posting. April and summer riots:  behaviour of senior Officers in Brixton. Public Order and youths in G Division: Riot Damages Act; effective leadership by local Chief Inspector. Paul Harrison, author; local paper; and local murder rate. Experience and qualities of local Police Officers; and compares with his early service.

Track 26: 16'08”: Follow up interview 26th January 2009. Commander G Division, Hackney: mentions Public Order 1981; morale boosting visit of Home Secretary; relationship to Local Council and politicians; IRA terrorism. Teachers' opposition to Police Officers visiting schools. Legal action relating to black women prisoner.  Requirement to give hourly situation reports during disturbances; Margaret Thatcher answers telephone in New Scotland Yard Operations Room. Commander on Central First Aid Committee. Granada TV programme Hypothetical. Change to political leadership of Council.

Track 27: 7'27'': Commander G Division: Disciplinary Boards; responsibilities thereto; advice from Assistant Commissioner on managing Disciplinary Boards; a regular responsibility; Police Officer's perspective; and integrity of system.

Track 28: 3'42”: Disciplinary matters: first hearing; and further complaint against Police Officer by four Leeds United football fans.

Track 29: 17'44”: December 1982  Posted to A Division: describes ground; police stations and responsibilities. Mr Fagan and Palace security; zenith of career; shortness of deployment in G Division; Public Order and Demonstrations on A Division; ceremonial and national events; unveiling, Mountbatten statue; security concerns. 13th November 1983, Cruise Missiles delivered to Greenham Common: resultant demonstrations around Palace of Westminster; illegal sit-down demonstrations in Parliament Square on 15th November 1983 by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in contravention of Sessional Orders; discipline and good order of colleagues; 299 arrests and administration thereof; demonstrations Bridge Street and St Martin in the Field; praises police performance on that day; and support from Mr Speaker Thomas.

Track 30: 19'42”: Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament demonstrations, continues: managing prosecutions;  Metropolitan Police Solicitors Department; and overview statements by ranks Inspectors and above; gives evidence. Violence and Public Order: small groups inciting public violence; publicity gained by public violence; and allegations of police over-reaction. Demonstration by striking miners: 124 miners arrested; deputation by Members of Parliament Tony Benn, Tam Dalyell and Brian Sedgemoor on prisoners' conditions at Rochester Row Police Station. Demonstrations outside South Africa House: liaison with demonstration leadership; Friday evenings demonstrations; deployment of Officers; arrests and not guilty verdicts; and unlawful arrest proceedings. Advice from Metropolitan Police Solicitors Department; cases upheld; support from Director of Public Prosecutions; and compensation to complainants.  Further Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament demonstrations: bicycle demonstration; intelligence; demonstrators change tactics away from Houses of Parliament.

Track 31: 11'39”: Commander A Division: new Cannon Row Police Station opened by Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister; mentions meeting Thatcher on various occasions; and Angry Brigade. Describes opening ceremony; gives vote of thanks to Thatcher. Comments on quality of police colleagues on A Division.

Track 32: 24'04”: Commander A Division: IRA Harrods Bombing: Officers killed; and briefly visits scene. Sir Kenneth Newman's re-organisation of Metropolitan Police: input on changes to role of Commander. . Posted to Area 6 ( F, B, X and Heathrow Airport) as Administration Commander and deputy to Deputy Assistant Commissioner in charge of Area 6. Comments on changes: sport and amalgamation of Divisions; and writes report thereto. Annual Area sports events. Bomb El Al Airlines check-in desk;  takes Operational Command of incident. Annual reports on Chief Superintendents. Views on changed role. Posted as Commander of Heathrow Airport to review the need for post. Lockerbie Bombing. Theft at Airport by baggage handlers. Charging BAA for policing; reforms processes and improves relations with BAA.

Track 33: 2'46”:  BAA value for money from Metropolitan Police. Emergencies: ACPO discussions on contribution from voluntary bodies. Planning exercises at RAF Brize Norton and RAF Linton. Previous police training with SAS at Hereford; and military and terror related police exercises at Heathrow.

Track 34: 8'02”: Redeployment: comments on Inspectorate. Posted to New Scotland Yard: Traffic, Communications and Courts: describes role. Prison Officers dispute and Lambeth holding cells. Meets Home Secretary, Douglas Hurd. Vehicle Removal Operations: contractors and police man­ power.

Track 35: 27'03”:  Commissioner Sir Peter Imbert visits Vehicle Removal Operation. New Traffic Policy: communication thereof to Senior Officers. Special Escort Group: Royal visit to Special Escort Group's depot in Barnes; meets Princess Royal. Strike by London Underground workers; special parking arrangements; Margaret Thatcher, parking on the Mall, and security implications; interview Today Programme, John Humphreys. Plus Programme: image of Metropolitan Police; Component Head, Plus Programme 8, appearance of the Metropolitan Police; Officers, police vehicles and logo; warning equipment on police vehicles; signage at New Scotland Yard; Jane Stichbury. Accelerated Promotion: Special Course Johnson Scheme; Lord Trenchard; opposition to scheme; Graduate Entry Scheme; comments on own promotion; and changes to system of supervision. Role as Overseer of Special Course people, Area 6: comments on; Special Course and CID; view of ideal Officer for Accelerated Promotion; Paul Ackford; challenges of his own role.

Track 36: 12'51”: Retirement: obligations on Commanders; view of retirement; plans to visit Australia with wife; offered to stay on; appointed OBE; meeting with Commissioner; investiture at Buckingham Palace; misses colleagues; good relations with Metropolitan Police; and comments on career and life after. Volunteer case worker with Soldiers, Sailors, Airman and Families Association; Bridge; Howard League for Penal Reform; European Police Athletics and First Aid Competitions; Metropolitan Police sports. How seen by former colleagues: changes to Police Equipment and role of police; and looks back.

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