Friends of the

Metropolitan Police History

Officer 24

Location of interview:Romford

Officer's Gender:Male

Date joined Met Police:18 March 1957

Date left Met Police: 1 October 1987

Rank of leaving:Detective Sergeant

Divisons served:G (Hackney) Commercial Street.

Specialist service:Cadet

Transcript of interview

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Track 1: 17'13":  Family life before Metropolitan Police Service: Growing up in Greenford, Middlesex, moving to Ilford Park, aged 11, secondary school in Ilford, career decisions and events leading to joining te cadets in 1954. Cadet life in K division.  Reflections on career progression of cadets. Roles as a cadet. Joining Metropolitan Police Service in 1957. Posting to Hackney (G division and then J division) until 1966 for 9 years. Working the beat: walking and patrolling. Character of Hackney station and colleagues: problems settling into the station post-war. Procedure and protocol. Shift work and night duty. Social life in the Metropolitan Police Service. Boredom in role: traffic duty, area patrol, parade and 8 hour shifts. Sergeants and supervision.  Relationship with the community and change in relations in later years due to panda cars. Marriage and promotion to Sergeant.  Posting to G division Commercial Street station. Crimes in G division: high crime rate, Jack the Ripper, mess drinkers and comaraderie. The shooting of police officers and search for Harry Roberts. The Krays and tackling their activities. Encounters with the Krays. Tommy Butler of the Flying Squard and the placement of Kray in the worst cell. ID parade and release.

Track 2: 3’23": Escaping Commercial Street and taking the Station Sergeant exam. Posting to Stoke Newington as acting Inspector. Developments in  technology,  communication  and equipment. Changes in Metropolitan Police Service. Working in Stoke Newington and selection for Inspector. Recalls the Regency Club where Krays had committed murder and his reporting of people drinking out of hours. Promotion to Inspector.

Track 3: 5’23": Bramshill Police Staff College National Police College in Hampshire for residential course to learn the higher aspects of policing. Promotion to Inspector and posting to K division, in Essex. Describes ground, predominance of motor vehicle crime. Return to shift work in Forest Gate. Working the Relief in Forest Gate. Football hooliganism. Parading, arrest, charges and crimes. IRA activities and the West Ham train bomb. Using firearms to tackle the IRA. 1976 promotion to Chief Inspector.

Track 4: 4’20": Promotion to Chief Inspector.  Prejudice and hierarchy in Metropolitan Police Service: Character of Romford and shortage of east London senior ranking Police officers.Working in Chingford division.  Working in Chigwell Police station investigating complaints against Police officers. Work load in complaints division and demands of the job.  Promotion to Superintendent.

Track 5: 8’28": Case whilst a Chief Inspector: Key holder investigation found a call centre for a sex massage industry in London.  Discusses the workings of the sex massage business. 6 week trial and the national press.  Promotion to Chief Superintendent. Brixton riots and West Indian youth problems. Tackling potential crime amongst West Indian youth.  Incident of a dance and the murder of an Asian in Walthamstow’s ground. Arresting a young boy led to disciplinary action, which threatened his promotion.  Posting to Holloway Police Station as Superintendent.  Policing Arsenal Football ground and football hooliganism.  West Ham riot and murder of a man after the game. Demands of Holloway: Community tensions.  Finsbury Park Tavern crime. Violence from black community .  BME officers at Holloway and relations within the station. Reflections on the perceptions of PCs about BME officers.

Track 6: 20’26": Promotion as Superintendent in 1981.  Policing Arsenal Football Ground. Policing dignitaries visiting Arsenal.  Football hooliganism.  Utilising the SPG (Special Patrol Group) to tackle special problems.  Incident when Birmingham City played Arsenal and problems erupted. Kings Cross patrol of SPG.  Demands of Holloway station.  1980s high crime rate.Murder investigations.  Overtime friction.  Colleagues and social life.  Difficulty gaining further promotion as an active practical police officer, rather than academic and administrative skills.Subsequent posting to Scotland Yard to undertake a security report of police buildings and security policing of London. Retirement in 1987. Working in Scotland Yard and reflections about promotion process aiding academics.  Notting Hill Carnival: volunteering for aid jobs, policing  public order and tackling riots.  Role of Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Operations: role and participation in the team as a Chief Inspector.  Special Course: selection as a Sergeant if you had academic background, 1 year course and subsequent resentment amongst practical PCs.  Discusses one police officer in Stoke Newington with an academic background who lacked practical ability to undertake police work.  Stoke Newington, Stamford Hill, Jewish Area and in particular the Hassidic Jews.  Synagogues and policing Orthodox Jewish families vulnerable to crime on the Sabbath.Incident of Hassidic youth having his ringlets cut off by local youths.  Discusses the expansion of the Hassidic Jews across London to Holloway.   Sir Kenneth Newman and his action plans.Implications of the ‘action plans’ on policing.  Reflections on policing demands and resentment of PCs and Sergeants to changes in policing tactics.  Reaction to the management of change.

Track 7: 4’39": Reflections and regrets about experiences in Metropolitan Police Service.  Section House culture and living there for 9 years.  Discusses whether he would join now.  Discusses treatment as a civilian after retirement by the Metropolitan Police Service and poor community relations.  Impact of the introduction of the car on community policing.

Track 8: 1’29": Metropolitan Police Service family: Comradeship and relationship with colleagues and fellow police officers.


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