Friends of the

Metropolitan Police History

Officer 15

Location of interview:Holley

Officer's Gender:Female

Date joined Met Police:16 March 1981

Date left Met Police:

Rank of leaving:Constable

Divisons served:E (Hampstead), L (Brixton)

Specialist service:Schools

Transcript of interview

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Introduction to interview.  Life before the Metropolitan Police Service: Father work  in  RAF  in  Germany,  traveling  with  parents  and  13  different  schools  and  schooling  in Cornwall.   Decision  to  join  the  cadets  at  16:  friend  applying  and  wishing to  leave  Padstow. Family's reaction to career choice.   Reasons for joining the cadets.  Training at Hendon.  Selection process for women: interview, O level exams. Fellow female cadets at Kingsbury. Ethnic minority cadets. Impressions of the cadets. Sports: netball and race walking. House nights and the K garage run. Education: 3 O’levels. Transition to Hendon training school. Reception of cadets. Experience at Hendon: social life and studying. Posting to West Hampstead station as a trainee and relationship with the relief.  Posting to Hampstead after training school.

Track 2: 20’15”: Experiences in training school.  Scandal surrounding a fellow trainee.  Sporting demands: swimming. Protocol and procedure in treatment of instructors.  Recalls writing up IRBs at Hendon. Reflects on the system and its compatibility to actual policing. Adjusting to the lifestyle as a trainee. Learning techniques. Posting to Hampstead and returning to the same team. Reception of new PCs following training school by reliefs. Equipment for women: handbags, skirts, surrey style hat, handcuffs, radio, but to truncheon. Continuation of training on relief: CTCs and final exams. Hampstead’s area being very wealthy and dealing with famous people. Incident of Sting’s house alarm going off. Move to Brixton and awareness of ethnic minorities presence in the community. Reflects on the quiet nature of policing Hampstead. First arrest of a drunk and prosecuting him.  Pressures of going to court and presenting a case.

Track 3: 15’27”: Meeting her husband in 1983 and moving to Croydon to live together. Application to Brixton and tackling new demands of a challenging area. Brixton riots and high crime level. Relief social and working life. Involvement in CID issues and working on a murder squad. Cherry Gross shooting (3.40) and the outbreak of the Brixton riots. Reflects on the threat of the event and getting home after work. Recalls an incident of a WPC being attacked by a crowd and being rescued by a member of the public. Reflects on the trauma and impact of the incidents on the police officers. Impressions of the way in which the police treated the event and the subsequent community relations post Brixton riots. Perception of Brixton and the dangers of the area. Issues of policing ethnic minorities and racist perceptions that can emerge from this high crime level (14.50).

Track 4: 26’06”: Marriage in Croydon and birth of her first child.  Implications of family life on continuation of career. Working for the Metropolitan Police Service whilst pregnant and problems surrounding maternity leave.  Recalls being talked out of resigning from the job.  Issue of child care and support by the Metropolitan Police Service as a working mother.  4 miscarriages and eventually having 2 more children.  Posting to Croydon. APA approach to the needs of her children rather than her career needs.  Readjusting to working again and relationship with her colleagues.  Reflects on the changes that have occurred in the Metropolitan Police Service for women and working mothers.  Recalls her husbands role with their children.  Role in Croydon: school presentations and aiding juveniles. Working as a community liaison officer when 9/11 occurred.  Undertaking risk assessments.  Involvement in domestic violence project in Croydon.  Gaining role in Scotland Yard dealing with racial violent crime and monitoring crimes in South-east London.  Lawrence inquiry and John Grieve.  Reflects on working in Scotland Yard compared to local branches.  Involvement in Elder abuse and aiding agencies that help older people.  Reflects on impact of Scotland Yard work on family life: nanny share and commuting to central London.  Impact of 9/11 on role as community liaison officer.  Soham incident and Stephen Lawrence enquiry leading to the creation of the critical incident team.  Impact of the Tsunami and working with family liaison officers.Working not with the critical liaison team.

Track 5: 9’40”: Explains meaning of a ‘critical incident’: impact of the policing of an incident on the confidence of the community and family in the Metropolitan Police Service. Discusses the role of the team and the importance of liaising with the community.   Problems working with the independent advisory teams. Problems of the media criticism of the Metropolitan Police Service. Perception of the future of her career.  Discusses a job she may be applying for involving mentally ill people committing crimes. Reflects on the importance of her job.

Track 6: 13’54”:  Explains her compressed hours working structure and issues in the Metropolitan Police Service’s perceptions surrounding part time working weeks.  Impact on colleagues of new work structure and the increased importance given to family life.  Changes in Metropolitan Police Service socializing, police life outside of work, and rules and regulations about community policing.   Changes in the approach of policing the community today and the role of women in the Metropolitan Police Service. Women’s role in the miners strike.  Issues of sexism and prejudice against women in the Metropolitan Police Service.  Reflects on  daughter's decision to join the Metropolitan Police Service.  Plans for her last two years in the Metropolitan Police Service.  Plans for retirement and decision to continue after 30 years.

Track 7: 2’56”: Final thoughts about the Metropolitan Police Service and the importance of respecting those on the front line of policing the community.

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