Friends of the

Metropolitan Police History

Officer 31

Location of interview:Essex

Officer's Gender:Male

Date joined Met Police: 6 June 1950

Date left Met Police: 6 January 1980

Rank of leaving:Chief Superintendent (District)

Divisons served:

Specialist service:No specialities

Transcript of interview

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Track 2: 10'06”: Service with MPS: reason for contacting oral history project, three bomb incidents; Cannon Row, as Inspector Night Duty, called to Trafalgar Square; 1963, box with wiring left on plinth; places bomb in fountain; Explosives Officer sent for; false alarm, university prank. As Ch. Superintendent, Holborn, explosion, boundary with City of London Police; attack on Jewish community, person killed by envelope bomb; Bomb Officer sent for; describes actions taken and circumstances. Third incident, Holborn, on duty but in plain clothes: bomb attack on Midland Bank, armed a PC, and attended scene, 1971. Describes actions taken and circumstances: bank robbery; dramatic arrests of suspect. Another fake bomb: exhibit Crime Museum. Suspect charged and sentenced to 6yrs. Bow Street Awards and Queen's Commendations for Bravery: describes presentation at County Hall. Sceptical comments by son conveyed to Sir Robert Mark.

Track 3: 06'37”: Commendations: Commissioner's Commendation as young probationer, arrest of car thief; Brixton.  Commendations, describes circumstances; West End Central,  describes circumstances; arrest of thief escaping; 19 TDAs; arrest at London Judo Club; Cannon Row, describes work and staff; trouble in the Charge Room, suspect caught with help from park keeper's dog.

Track 4: 2'29”: Explains TDA: continues with commendations; recommends introduction clip on ties; hobby collecting police uniforms; Chairman of International Police Insignia Collectors Association.

Track 5: 3'32”: Reason for joining MPS: posted RAF Police; wanted to be a PTI; too intelligent for driver; reluctant to be police officer as East End boy; prison work; criminal records; CID; Egypt, de-mobilised; thought about Customs; applied police on suggestion of neighbour; successful application; Peel House; accused of writing obscene notes; absolved of wrong doing.

Track 6:  3'50”: The recruitment process: application forms; recruitment slow; 120 interviews, 20 accepted. Describes medical. Peel House: unsuitable, small and old fashioned; cubicles and section house; sharing with pigeons; sneaking out at night haircuts; six women in class, describes. Posted Chelsea: two PCs, one with DFC.

Track 7: 12'57”: Describes Training: 13 weeks and rote learning; competitive; hours worked; pressure; not too difficult. Describes Training Staff: Describes first posting: pre-war policemen: inclined to be lazy; 20 beats; quick change overs, top end of ground, 20 miles of walking; Area Car and driver; 2 years service; then Aide to CID; bad practices going on; returns to Uniform; arrest at bomb site. Completes probation exams. Married quarters, describes. Seek transfer to Kenya. Describes uniform, and problems with; American Ambassador's Residence, fixed point duty; Uniforms weighed forty pounds; Traffic Point Duty, Hyde Park and Albert Hall; wages; Chelsea Football Ground, overtime; parking tips; Chelsea Ball.

Track 8: 10'38”: Communications: Chelsea, Police Boxes, describes locations; Festival of Britain, 13 PCs in a Police Box at Embankment. Phoning In.  Marching Out: whistle, torch for signals; communications poor; managing arrests; violent drunks; members of public phoning in; Area Car; Newspaper Men. Fogs: leading column of buses on a bicycle; lights and masks; black soot; open fires legislation; cough up filth; Traffic Point Duty, describes; breaks; dangerous during fogs; comment by lady on  his clean fingernails; unpopular; playing games with drivers;white gloves and armlets; hard work. Police vehicles: Humbers; no heating; vans noisy.

Track 9:  6'10”: Technology: switchboard with plugs; Reserve man; soft number; loses temper with switchboard; no other technical equipment. Public Order event: does not remember as PC; remembers seeing Oswald Mosley Black Shirts. Public Order as Inspector at Cannon Row: CND marches; Hyde Park Corner; complained about amount of Public Order duty; National Front march Deptford, injuries at road block; PC loses an eye; disappointment in PC charging suspect only with Disorderly Conduct.

Track 10: 9'20”: Time as Senior Officer: Posted Holborn; Bethnal Green. took over from poor officer; had to sort things out, and did; not satisfied with Inspectors; role of Inspectors very important; insisted on a Night Duty Inspectors; team building; setting up a Mess; at least five became Chief Constables; playing football; expected respect; advice to Referee; away games; team building has been lost; lazy clerk; confronts, and returns to beat. Property:  money deposited by nun missing; matter resolved.

Track 11: 7'50”: Pressure to recommend people for promotion: useless Station Sergeant; order to recommend for Promotion; accelerated promotion; call from Commissioner Bag Man; forced to recommend him. Big Jim Starritt; describes incident of suspension of Chief Inspector; Vice Book and trouble with office politics. Transfer cancelled.

Track 12: 6'00”: Would not join MPS: changes too great; accommodation and people living too far away; police numbers and poor service to public; Brixton and running after the van; loss of enthusiasm; not enough officers on the Beat; quotes Primary Aims of Policing; comments on son's policing career. Comments on interview and police history. The Job.


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