Friends of the

Metropolitan Police History

Officer 21

Location of interview:Goffs Oak, Hertfordshire

Officer's Gender:Male

Date joined Met Police: 2 January 1961

Date left Met Police: 2 January 1996

Rank of leaving:Chief Inspector

Divisons served:N (Dalston), C (Bow Street), Y (St Ann's Road), G (Stoke Newington)

Specialist service:Training School

Transcript of interview

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Track 2: 4’05": Life before the Metropolitan Police Service.  Family: Great Chesterford, father working Royal Air Force and died in 1940, emigration with mother to Florida for 9 months, return to Warwickshire to live with uncle, move to North Devon in 1952. School, north Devon, 1952- 1960. Leaving school and application to Metropolitan Police Service 1960. Brothers and sisters: step siblings post-war with new father. Reasons for joining Metropolitan Police Service: lack of planning or reason for decision. Recalls recruit selection board. Parents in Sherbourne, Devon. Discusses Metropolitan Police Service with local policemen. Went to London for better pay.

Track 3: 6’48":  Entry to Metropolitan Police Service: met by Sergeant and posting to Hendon. Training estate in Hendon. Recruitment process: Borough High street, cubicle sleeping, written exam, selection board and medical. Interview board. Training at Hendon January to 10th April. Posting to Dalston. Training colleagues. Accommodation in old headquarters of Hendon: private room and recruit antics. Character of recruits: ex-serviceman and many from Colonial service, one with connections with Sierra Leone.). Further contact with recruit colleagues. Female recruits: segregation and limited numbers.

Track 4: 3’28": Training staff: section sergeant who progressed to be an inspector. Career progress of trainers: Chief Superintendent of Golders Green, Wood Green process section. Attitudes of trainers. Practical training. A, B and C report training process.

Track 5: 12’39": Dalston: working in his first posting, Islington and boundary changes in 1964. Atmosphere in Dalston: family atmosphere. Character as acting Sergeant. Strict discipline, Reporting Sergeant, father figure to recruits. Discusses not knowing of later death of a Sergeant. Lack of group cohesion in later years. New breed of Sergeant who mixed with Constables. Relief atmosphere. 10th April 1961 arrival in Dalston. Station Sergeant Ginger Thompson. Happy posting: working hard, but enjoying the job. Frank Rydal's parting speech when he went on parade. First night of night duty with Alan Randall and their visit to drinking venues. Frank MacMaster caught him in drinking venue on night duty. Supervision style. Duty officers.  Telephonists and war reserves: Bert Shaw use of bicycle when on duty. Jack a civilian telephonist and practical jokes. Snowball fights and other antics of PCs. Discusses pride of the division. Division rivalry. Commissioner Sir Joseph Simpson's role in public order at Trafalgar Square  at  CND demonstration.

Track 6: 7’05": Female colleagues in Dalston: separation and specific dissemination of roles. Women given care cases. Discusses infamous PCs behavior towards female colleagues. Lack of black and ethnic minority officers. Change in character of Dalston community towards black and West Indian community. Dress and behavior of West Indians. Growth of black community: impact on policing to cater for community. Discusses the black communities lack of financial standing and use of group finances producing derogatory perceptions of PCs to the black community. Policing level changes. Police perception of the black community: attitude and style of policing to ethnic minority problems. Lack of policy, departments or investigations into procedure needed for ethnic minority policing.

Track 7: 8’29": Promotion. Leaving in 1965. Special course and early accelerated promotion. 1964 Civil service Police promotions exam to become DS first class. (1.06). Extended interview in 1965 and promotion to Sergeant. Work as a skipper: lack of knowledge about new position. Lack of preparation, advice and training. July 1965 posted to Bow Street. Social life with the Relief: Barking to Southend walk.  Antics and events on the walk, and social activity in Southend.  Social outings: Golden Sovereign from Tower Pier to Margate. Fred Darby missing the boat trip. Whilst at Bow Street became member of Royal Air Force Volunteer training: Squadron in East End and later in Potters bar. Working as an Air Cadet.

Track 8: 11’52": Life as a Sergeant in Bow Street: Character of Bow Street policing ground. Night and day duty. Recalls Superintendent Les Garrett. Procedure and protocol in Bow  Street. Character and feeling of Bow Street. Policing Covent Garden market. Community policing: variety of work. Magistrate’s Court. March 1971 leaving Bow Street. Meeting his wife who was a fellow Police officer: marriage in 1966 and reception in Finsbury Park. Discusses buying new home, which led to transfer to St Ann’s Road. Undertaking new work in Unit Command. Working with new radios, new commanders, new cars and general new duties. Working as a Section Sergeant in St Ann’s Road. Learning to delegate work as a duty officer. Return to ethnic minority policing in St Ann’s Road. Patrolling the area. Family feeling in the station.  Discusses behaviour of Police Superintendent.  New administrative style of policing.  1973 move to training school.

Track 9: 13’21": Move to training school 1975-1977: position as recruit training instructor November 1973. Discusses return to old training school. Working as a Sergeant Instructor: continued style and procedure to 1940. Recruit classes: variety and changing nature of classes. Forging staff friendships and relations with colleagues. Style of teaching: practical experience and job satisfaction. Reflections on training for new role as instructor. Relations with divisions and move to divisional area control taking over training process. Intentions and objectives of training process. Problems of divisional ethos role in training. Training school implications on social life: improved social hours and family life. Advantages of shift work. Supervising procedure at training school: Contact with Senior Officers during time at training school. Senior management and involvement in training process. Character of staff rooms. Problems for recruits with family police connections.

Track 10: 19’31": Move to Tottenham: ethnic minority policing. Promotion to Acting Inspector. Taking the Inspector exam 1978. Move to Stoke Newington 1979 as Inspector. Policing Tottenham: football policing. APA (annual appraisal). Inspector in Stoke Newington. Return to Dalston area and close of Dalston. Policing in Stoke Newington. Learning new levels of management: delegation, roles and duties. 1981 Rumours that the interviewee would be posted to D5. Discusses character of the Yard: unappealing. Seeking alternative placement: posting as recruit team leader Inspector. Adopting new role as Inspector in training school. Gerry Bird's role in training school. Decision to change role. Neighbourhood policing and training school move to new methods of training. New role of psychology in teaching practices and training of recruits. Joining in 1982 the Policing Skills Team: video feedback and methods to assist recruits problems. 1984 promotion to Chief Inspector.

Track 11:4’57”: Move to the outer reaches of Metropolitan Police Service: Boreham Wood and problems with relationship with senior officer. Move to Hendon as Chief Inspector: discusses ground and policing there for one year. Commissioner's visit to West Hendon. Adopting new admin roles. 1986 Junior Command course: lack of impact. May 1986 move to Barnet: challenges and problems. Talks about a difficult Chief Superintendent he had to deal with.

Track 12: 5’26": Discusses clash with Chief Superintendent. Social evening which brought out his relaxed character to recruits, but general poor working relationship with recruits. Discusses award. Senior  management  problems  and  weaknesses.  Barnet  division  character  and  style.   Policing ground of Barnet.

Track 13: 15’55": September 1988 move to Chief Inspector Area Personnel Officer for 7 Area. Interview by Commander Hilton. New responsibilities: transfers and maintaining balance of personnel across divisions. Links with the training school and receiving and allocating new recruits their divisions. 7 Area Personnel: post demands and duties. Liaising with Senior management. Richard Wells. Role as Personnel officer. July 1991 move to training school as Recruit Training School Chief Inspector Support and Personnel. Developing personnel role. Colleagues and relationships with other personnel. 1993 change: move of P9 to unify all the training schools. Weakness of new system. Imposing new rules and regulations in practice. Working as Personnel Manager in new training estate.  Problems of the concept of Tenure: role of locating officers.  1993–1996 battle to streamline the new estate and implement new procedures, rules and protocol. 1995 November decision to extend service to 35 years in January 1996.

Track 14: 9’23": Changes in the Metropolitan Police Service over 35 years of service: Communication and transport: Police box and taking duties with limited communication in 1961, Police vehicles: Wireless cars and changes in appearance. Noddy bike and Noddy rider’s responsibility and peddle cycle procedures. Station van in Bow Street. Communication improvements in Bow Street. Personal radios: Motorola PR, new ear pieces, modification of the PR. Continued use of Police posts and boxes. Technological problems. Failure to become Air Support Unit’s observers. Shifts in principles of fleet purchasing from British only to practicalities.

Track 15: 9’40": Preparation for retirement. Resettlement course at Peel House. Potential lines of employment after retirement. Desire to have time to himself and enjoy retirement. Offer and acceptance to act as a retired Police assessor at Beak Street. Learning about new challenges to police work. Decision to provide a course for supervisory officers. Establishing company in Boreham Wood to train officers from PC to Sergeant. Hospice. Volunteer as security officer in Watford. Growth of role: tackling health and safety. Case worker for Soldier, Sailors and Air Force Association.

Track 16: 7’57": Reflections on role and decision to join the Metropolitan Police Service. Explains that he would not join the Metropolitan Police Service today. Lack of contact with past colleagues in retirement. Observation of the Metropolitan Police Service in the public view: deterioration in appearance, behaviour, role and presentation of PCs. Disintegration of community and police relations: impact of the cars on community interaction. Losing touch with Metropolitan Police Service.  Perception of friends and family of past role as PC.

Track 17: 6’47": Reflections on interview and added points. Reflections of the 35 year career: opportunities and challenges. Stoke Newington 1979 effort of Metropolitan Police Service to post people to training school regardless of preferences: role and event when he challenged the move. Changes he may have made to his career: Application to firearms or Air observer.


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