Friends of the

Metropolitan Police History

Officer 20

Location of interview:Surrey

Officer's Gender:Female

Date joined Met Police:10 September 1979

Date left Met Police:10 September 2009

Rank of leaving:Inspector

Divisons served:X (Uxbridge) Q (Kilburn) T (Twickenham) L (Kennington, Cavendish Road)

Specialist service: TSG, Discipline Office Women Police Association.

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Track 1: 15'58":  Life before the Metropolitan Police Service: Family life, grammar school in Eastcote joining the Police cadets at 16 and leaving school. Life in the cadets: sports, progression. Reasons for joining the Metropolitan Police Service: progression from the cadets and  career choices.  Training school: 13 weeks intense training, academic work and fellow trainees.  Social life outside training school and classmates.  Family perceptions of career choice.  Brother's career. Lack of family connections to Metropolitan Police Service. Alternative career choices. Family concern about job. K and R’s (knowledge and reasoning) and practicals. 2 weeks at Wanstead. Firearms training. Marching in the cadets. Posting to Kilburn: commute, work experience on the streets, community policing and training. Induction to Metropolitan Police Service work. Equipment and procedure: radios, truncheons and hand cuffs. Uniforms: handbag, hats, skirt, trousers, jacket and general issues with the uniform.

Track 2: 18’09”: Community policing in Kilburn: Irish and West Indian communities.  Policing ethnic minorities: Friday and Saturday nights.  Confrontations: HGV incident and dealing with two enormous Irishmen, dispute between a black boyfriend and girlfriend and Kilburn High Road traffic light  direction  work. Reflects  on  police  relations  with  the  local  ethnic  minorities:  issues  in Harlesden.  Home beat officers and contact with the locals.  Black police officers and diversity within  the  services. Female  colleagues:  treatment  of  female  officers,  sexism  and  promotion. Integration of women to Metropolitan Police Service: dissemination of roles (domestic disputes and children).  Walking beats, control rooms, cars.  1981 or 1983 taking the Panda course in Wembley. Smashing the bomb car. Sergeants exam: transition to new roles.  Working as APS (Acting Police Sergeant): custody sheets, procedure and protocol.  Role as APS outside the station.  Promotion procedure to APS.  Reason for seeking promotion to APS 1984: career ambitions and alternative routes of promotion.  Regrets and wishes to have worked with traffic.

Track 3: 13’23”:  Posting as a Sergeant to Uxbridge: home posting issues.  Custody officer in Uxbridge and dealing with an old school friend. Transition from Kilburn to Uxbridge. Irish community policing. Sergeants course and perceived experience compared to actual experiencing of policing. Working relations: Reflects on colleagues and older male PCs. Yearly appraisals for women: Relationship with Scottish officer in Uxbridge. Area commander treatment of female PCs and challenging prejudices against women in the appraisal system. Impact of appraisal: professional and personal implications. Learning crib and partaking in Irish pub social events. Crimes and events: middle class, residential and sporadic incidents. A40 incidents: Fatal vehicle motor cycle accident, a cow and a sleeping horse.

Track 4: 9’15”:  Living in Uxbridge, move to Sutton in Surrey with partner (Worcester Park) and transfer to Twickenham.  Street duty Sergeant in Twickenham.  Coordinating courses and training. Studying for Inspector exam.  Cycling proficiency test in Teddington for PCs.  1987-91 in Twickenham.  Large intake of PCs and study for Inspector under the old system.  Discusses the difference between the old and new systems for qualification for Inspector. Acting Inspector role in Twickenham. Twickenham area: residential area and pleasant working environment.  Street duties courses and reflects on the probationers.  Lack of black officers.  Banter and relationships in the team.

Track 5: 20’43”: Inspector to Kennington: reflects on colleagues and team.  Incident of squatters on Kennington Lane organizing a rave. Working relationship with colleagues.  Senior management teams poor working relationship with colleagues.  Working as Acting Chief Inspector.  1994 Sector policing and amalgamation with Clapham: transition process and reflects on decision to move towards borough policing.  Reasons for amalgamation of small divisions.  Implications on the general public and community relations.  Incident of a shooting in Stockwell of a PC and dealing with the welfare of the people involved following the incident.  Brixton events: drugs and firearms. Equipment: met vests and lack of protective equipment.  Knife crime. Cavendish road posting in charge of the home beats.  Recalls colleagues: Home beat officer expert on gypsies in Eastern Europe. Gap year in South America with Raleigh International: selection process to Guiana expedition.  Reasons for Metropolitan Police Service involvement secondment programme. Explains role and benefits she drew from the trip.  Colleagues on expedition.  Logistics manager. Undertaking new roles: driving 4 wheel vehicle and tackling new dangers over the 3 months in 1995.  Personal impact.  Readjusting to Metropolitan Police Service: moving on to a new role in Cavendish Road, change in outlook and perceptions about events and the community.  Role as Acting Chief Inspector for personnel: sickness records, duties and management decisions about what people were doing. Working in a male environment.

Track 6: 11’59”: Promotion to Acting Chief Inspector: career path and gender issues in move to senior ranks. 71 female inspectors and working in a male environment. Territorial Support Group: reflects on posting and professional colleagues. Interview and procedure to promotion by default. TSG unit gaining commendation for work in 1999 city riots: walking wounded and team work. Base in Merton. Decision to move. Incidents: Entering premises by force in Brixton and Vauxhall area. Funeral of Lady Diana: lining the street during the procession of the coffin, tackling public mourning and Staples Corner. Discusses meeting Lady Diana in Kennington and why she appealed to the general public.

Track 7: 9’33”: Moving on from the TSG: social life and move to DPS (previously the CIB (Complaints Investigation Bureau).  Joining the uniform Inspectors at DPS: discusses role and duties tackling bad behaviour and corruption of PCs.  Internal investigations and public complaints. Procedure and protocol tackling convictions against a police officer.  Discusses a PC taking cocaine New Chief Inspector’s introduction work systems and decision to leave.  Consideration of Chief Inspector promotion: reflections of failure to attain promotion.  Return to normal policing. Posting to division in Belgravia 2002.  Involvement with British Association for Women Policing (BAWP).

Track 8: 10’38”:  BAWP (British Association for Women Policing): 1997 introduction in Birmingham conference to sports associations, joining the committee, growth of the Association's role and increase in professionalism of its work.  Decision to take role on full-time secondment basis.  Undertaking new role in a new post: establishing an office.  Reflections on role in Belgravia before the move. Male Chauvinism and a discipline hearing.  Dealing with a young Muslim man committing suicide and the problems this led to for her career and a discipline hearing.  Discipline hearing: character evidence and transition in protocol to prevent male chauvinism.

Track 9: 9’28”:  Responsibilities in the BAWP as the National Coordinator: contact with forces and dealing with the role of gender in the policing.  National expert for issues for women in Policing. Implications on running of divisions, procedures and protocol.  Roles: travelling to network conferences to discuss issues.  Publishing Gender and Gender, an employment guide.  Pushing issues of gender inequalities.  Reflects on changes in role of gender issues in the police force: female uniforms, flexible working and fitness testing. Transition to retirement: Plans and expectations.  Regrets and reflections about role in Metropolitan Police Service.


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