Location of interview:Pinner
Date joined Met Police: 7 December 1953
Date left Met Police:31 March 1981
Rank of leaving:Detective Superintendent
Divisons served:L, M, Y, S
Specialist service:C6 Fraud Squad Tanzania. Training School
Transcript of interview
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Track 1: 22'26": Introduction to interview. Life before Metropolitan Police Service: Growing up in Winchmore Hill London. Church of England schooling. Living in London during the war: Blitz and evacuation of father, who was a civil servant to Yorkshire. Problems of finding lodgings. Moving into a home in Harrogate, Yorkshire. Harrogate Grammar school. Father relocated to Oxford and joining the Oxford High School for Boys. Reflects on the suffering of his schooling and knowledge. Father’s relocation to London and return to Palmers Green. Impact of 3 Grammar Schools in 5 years. Leaving school at 16. Shipping and legal jobs before the Metropolitan Police Service. National Service and selecting Royal Navy, but allocated to RAF in Lancashire. Volunteering for air school and eye problems led to him leaving. Reflects on subsequent RAF trade training. Posted to Edinburgh for 18 months. Reasons for joining the Metropolitan Police Service: advertisement in Edinburgh for Metropolitan Police Service, perks of the job and dislike of other options. Recruitment process at Beat Street: medical and various tests.
Track 2: 4’57” Interest in the Scout movement. Involvement in summer camps and Scout activities. Recalls incidents at school and in the Scouts. Interest in Art and involvement in photography courses.
Track 3: 6’56” Process of being sworn into the Metropolitan Police Service. Peel House training school. Tommy Wall's character as an instructor. Relocation to Hendon training school. Sergeant instructor. Recalls drop-outs from the training. Recalls Hendon’s accommodation and the learning process.
Track 4: 25’38” Posting to M division, running along the South bank of London and Tower Bridge station. Living in Gilmore House in Kennington. Geographic and community character of the area he was policing. Demands of walking the beat and inefficiency of not having a radio. Desire to become a detective and seeking crime arrests. Recalls first arrest: Tooley street lodging house and an incident involving a theft of a watch. Sergeant's assistance in dealing with the incident. Being introduced to policing. Greengrocer’s parking offence and the prosecution process. Prostitution and the dismissal of cases from court. Working as an aide to CID. Posting to Kennington Road. Recalls the station and duties as an aide to CID. Plain clothes allowance and tackling night time burglaries in Kennington. Recalls catching some burglars and receiving a district commendation. General railway strike and his return to uniform to support policing of the disruption caused by the strike.
Track 5: 1’41” Hicks family in Bermondsey. Tommy Steele a businessman in Bermondsey.
Track 6: 25’09” Living in section house, socializing with Metropolitan Police Service, incident of Peter Hewitt and the organisation of a group holiday to Italy. Peter Hewitt meeting a nurse and describes his love of her. His problems with driving skills and marriage to Maureen. Working as an aide to CID. Incident of a complaint against a man acting as a nuisance to women on the South Bank. Women Police role with women and children. Night work at Kennington. New partner in CID. Incident of hijacking a lorry full of shoes and the fight that occurred when they tried to arrest the criminals. Selection board for appointment to CID as detective constable. Transferred to L division to Carter Street Police station and living in Gilmore section house. Recalls enjoyment of new role and rise in arrests he was making. Being informed he was to be transferred to Y division to Hornsey because someone in Hornsey had requested a transfer to Croydon. Recalls his new section house in Hornsey and later Highgate. Mother had a stroke and permission to live at home to aid care of his mother. Recalls the Miles Jones tribunal incident: arrest of 3 men for possessing offensive weapons, which led to a strongly contested court case. Report criticizing the police role in the arrest and his implication in the affair. Subsequent transfer to criminal records office.
Track 7: 13’19” Working in Hornsey as a detective constable. Reflects on the duties and demands on PCs at Hornsey, along with colleagues and character of the station. Crimes: daytime burglaries. Report on CID case loads, which highlighted Hornsey’s problems. Junior CID course 1959, detective sergeant exam 1960 and frustration at lack of promotion opportunities in Hornsey. Desire to join stolen car squad in Chalk Farm. Posting to Paddington, succeeding promotion and regular working hours. Promotion to Detective Sergeant in CID. Discusses annual reports and posting to COC6 fraud investigations department.
Track 8: 12’53” Fraud investigations procedure. Promotion to Inspector and first class Sergeant. Discusses various scams and investigations. Equipment and facilities available to the Metropolitan Police Service. Announcement of Mile Jones tribunal. Appointed as first class Sergeant in criminal records department. Working before computers. Pressure to remain in the CRO (Criminal Records Office) and decision to move back to operational duties. Promotion to first class Sergeant in fraud department. Helping in the transition of the department to new accommodation.
April 2nd 2009 – continued interview
Track 9: 22’16” C6 company fraud department. Working with an investigation into stamp duty issues. Recalls his own work experience of working in the solicitors and administrating stamp duty payments. Role in investigating the theft of the stamp duty money. Arresting the men for fraud. Reflects on discussing this with his father and his mistaken leak of information of the warrant for an arrest to a reporter. Promotion to Detective Inspector and posting to S division. Working as a DI in charge of the CID: incident of a Jewish lady claiming she was raped and the husband beating the rapist. Recalls the medical state of the rapist and the prosecution through the courts leading to a not-guilty verdict.
Track 10: 5’54” Explains that he pursued the man and found he had been arrested again. Problems in 1969 on the Island of Anguilla Volunteering to serve on the Island, but eventual posting in November 1969 to Anguilla over Christmas. Preparation for posting and discusses his transfer.
Track 11: 31’09” Working in Anguilla, West Indies. Reflections about the character of the community and crime level. Intelligence work to uncover why there was unrest. Investigations into stories about weapons and arms. Approach to policing in line with traditional practices. Transition to adopting Detective Inspector role. Lack of a court setting and court procedures during his posting. Relations with Anguilla community. Activities of the army and relationship with the police officers. Accommodation standards and living conditions. Equipment and technology on the island. RAF activities on Anguilla. Police bar and drinking habits. Photography. Incident of an assault between a man and his girlfriend, and the problem of prosecuting due to lack of a court system. Formal colonial magistrate arriving in Anguilla in order to reinstate law and order. Police role in protecting the judge on his arrival. Plan to establish a new court to avoid confrontation with protesting Anguillans.
Track 12: 18’38” Socialising and leisure time while at Anguilla: St Martin Island and the organisation of a Police football match. Undertaking the role of delivering a report of the state of Anguilla to Trinidad’s British High Commission. Recalls a man who worked for the bank of America and invited to lunch with the bankers. Purchasing a wrist watch at duty free prices. Recalls the Hercules RAF plane landing in Anguilla. Return on the Hercules to the UK after 3 months. Recalls the Hercules plane and the uncomfortable 12 hour flight. Reception by Metropolitan Police Service. Christmas in Anguilla.
Track 13: 24’43” Recalls arriving home with 2 bottles of whisky and tackling customs. Return to West Hendon Police station and recounts mischief that had occurred while he was away. Incident involving an Asian woman who was dying from internal injuries. Discovering that she was from Leicester and investigating the post mortem. Discovering a note in her pants requesting help, that she had fallen in love with another Asian boy, her parents had disapproved, they had locked her up in her room and she had fallen out of the window. Recalls the inquest and problems tackling the investigation into the Asian family. Return to the fraud squad as detective inspector. Investigating fraud of proforma invoices to businesses. Discusses the act of Parliament to tackle this fraud. Recalls undertaking the first prosecution under the new legislation. Inheriting an inquiry into a clothing factory in the Hackney area, and pushing it forward to prosecution. Recalls a confession that they were all inputting false figures. Catching the directors of the company.
Track 14: 21’35” Describes another fraud investigation. Explains how the investment went wrong and the company tried to get a concession from Bridgestone Tyres in Japan. The prosecution based on the false balance sheet and discusses the usher's loss of the document and that Mr Patterson had taken the document. Goes on to discuss aspects of the court case, issues, debates and prosecution events.
Continuation of interview: Thursday 16th April 2009
Track 15: 32’49” Discusses experience in the company fraud division. Transfer to Peel House Metropolitan Police Service training school. Explains the problem for PCs being allocated a position despite their home location. Training to become an instructor. Perks of being a fraud instructor, including giving lectures to other schools around the country. Promotion to Chief Instructor. Discusses the demands of being Chief Instructor for 2 years. Investigating an incident in the training school between a female trainee and a male instructor. Discusses the prosecution case in front of the board against the instructor and his demotion to Constable. Sir Robert Mark hearing the appeal by the PC against his demotion. Says that the appeal was taken to the Home Secretary. Investigating another officer for discipline. Promotion to Detective Superintendent and decision to leave the training school and return to general police work. Tanzania’s President visit to Britain and opening for a position to aid the organisation of the visit. Posting to F division at Hammersmith police station as Detective Chief Inspector Kidney stone illness and operation at Charing Cross hospital. Murder enquiry whilst at Hammersmith station: Landlord discovered a dismembered body of a lady in his flat known as the ‘dancing lady’. Suspecting the landlord for the murder.
Track 16: 19’24” Olympia exhibition centre and the IRA bomb at the Ideal Home Show. Career path: Tanzania opportunity for a security advisor or remaining to await his promotion to Detective Superintendent. Posting to C division as Detective Superintendent. Murder in Strand Palace Hotel; discovery of a strangled lady and her husband being the suspect. Investigation into a death on a bus in Regent Street, involving a gang of black youths who threw a brick into the bus, which hit a man on the head in the bus. Explains that the man refused to go to hospital and a few days later died. Recalls the process of investigating the event and tracing the youths to Kilburn. Moving the murder squad to Kilburn police station, but failing to catch the boys.
Track 17: 13’15” 1976 application for Tanzania and appointment to Tanzania in May 1977. Joining the Ministry of Overseas Development, and their lack of knowledge about Tanzania and wages. 'Life Overseas' course to prepare for posting to Africa. Discusses the issues that arose in organizing equipment, cars and other needs for time in Tanzania. Recalls travelling to Tanzania and reception in the country by the local police. Staying in the New Africa Hotel.
Track 18: 34’55” Life in Tanzania. Meeting the Inspector General and introducing himself to the High Commission. Recalls Tanzania, its political situation, language. Police college and allocation of an office space. Meeting and working with a Tanzanian Police Superintendent, traveling the country together and recalls his family. Describes the manner, structure and character of policing in Tanzania. Tanzania as a country: economic, social and political character. Travelling to the police stations across Tanzania. Producing a report for the Inspector General and the Commissioner. Criticism of the local Inspector General and his inability to oversee criminal investigations. Problems of report writing. Oversees Police advisor. Building personal relationships with Tanzanians. Problems receiving his car, which he had shipped from England. Tax free foreign service allowance. President of Malawi and his relations with South Africa. Discusses use of servants by people in Tanzania.
Track 19: 3’03” Discusses problems setting up his home whilst juggling work and the problems as a result of not having a fridge/freezer.
Track 20: 00’28” (void)
Track 21: 31’52” Rejoining the Metropolitan Police Service and posting to COC1 department. Transfer to complaints against police departments branch in Scotland Yard. Taking charge of organized illegal immigration, arts and antics squad, and industrial espionage. Discusses a case of Industrial espionage and having to set a trap to catch the man under investigation. WPC involved in the trap to catch him. Arresting him, processing him in the station and gaining information finally from him. Failure to charge him after all the investigations. Explains the complaint against him and its basis on a criminal’s claim of corruption linked to a PC under his supervision. Result of the complaints investigation leading to him being blocked from promotion and his decision to leave the Metropolitan Police Service. Sour end to his Metropolitan Police Service career. Reflections about his career decision to join the Metropolitan Police Service.