Friends of the

Metropolitan Police History

Officer 38

Location of interview:Eastleigh

Officer's Gender:Male

Date joined Met Police:13 January 1947

Date left Met Police:31 October 1972

Rank of leaving:Chief Inspector

Divisons served:

Specialist service:No specialities

Transcript of interview

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Track 1: 26' 00": Introduction to interview.  Life before the Metropolitan Police Service: family, split up of family in 1928, impact of depression in 1931, Guildford tech scholarship, leaving school in 1937, Second World War and volunteering as an infantryman. Posting to East Africa, Kenya, Kings African rifles, Burma and fighting the Japanese, finishing the war in 1946 as Sergeant Major. Decision to join the Metropolitan Police Service. Recruitment process: written exam, medical and interview. Training in Peel House 1947. Posting to Hampstead and describes the old school character of the police station and its PCs. Marriage and meeting his wife. Transferred  to Shepherds Bush and lived in Chiswick. Peel House 13 week training course. Describes incidents of new recruits leaving Hampstead and the disappointment of policing Hampstead with little crime, along with the problem of the old school PCs. Policing in Shepherds Bush F division: street violence, Notting Hill violence, Queens Park Rangers football crowd, traffic offences. Recalls seeing his first dead body as a PC. Describes his Relief and shift work. Beat book system used in Hampstead. Memories of policing Shepherds Bush: Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip's marriage. Tackling traffic problems  in Shepherds Bush.  Describes the shift pattern and problems of recruitment for the Metropolitan Police Service.  Studying for a Sergeants exam 1951.

Track 2: 17’53” Moving to a flat in Chelsea. Recalls an incident of a prostitute in the neighbouring block and reflects about police accommodation. Describes his wife giving birth 1951. Posting to Chelsea police station. Transition to policing as a Sergeant. Recalls colleagues and their high arrest record leading to commendations. Recalls particular arrests. Responsibility to supervise PCs and doing book makers patrol. Endemic problem of street bookmaking. Taking the Station Sergeants exam and undertaking the duties of the new role awaiting promotion to Inspector. Recalls Hendon advance training scheme before the war.

Track 3: 22’34” Role of women in the Metropolitan Police Service: separate unit, specific roles. Recalls Mr Haigh reporting missing women and a WPC discovering that he was responsible for the Acid Bath murders.  Important role of WPCs protecting children.  Ethnic minority officers.  Recalls process of becoming Station Sergeant in 1954 leading to his collapse due to over work.  Taking the exam in 1955 at Hendon and promotion in April 1955.  Posting to Ealing at Station Sergeant. Recalls a station sergeant they called the ‘Penguin’.  Duties at Ealing: supervising, patrolling, but not driving.  Driving school course.  Recalls the day Ruth Ellis was hanged, the last lady to be hanged for murder, and a mentally ill patient drowning, along with finding a dead baby in the lock. Recalls driving course.  Moving to Sunbury-on-Thames to a house and posting to Staines.  Recalls the demands of policing the Staines area and the problems dealing with Uxbridge court.

Track 4: 26’43” Recalls an incident whilst at Staines police station. Catching two men for attempted burglary in Feltham.  1956 selection for Inspector and undertaking the police Inspector’s course.  Recalls his 1935 Ford car.  Incident of Britain and France invading Egypt for the Suez canal and Anthony Eden’s resignation. Recalls 1956/7 petrol shortages.  2 stroke motorbike to commute to Hammersmith.  Posting to F division Hammersmith station.  Recalls ‘Penguin’ and issues with colleagues. Impact of petrol ration on policing.  Describes two mistakes he made on investigations, which prevented his promotion.  Dealing with Irishmen and drunks in the area, enforcing policing.  Problems of policing drink driving.  Recalls one incident of a drunken charge. West London Hospital incident of a stabbing at a party and arresting the man responsible.   Factory burglaries: King Street factory.  Other crimes, including the Irish club, Hammersmith Palace.  Holding sales and struggling to contend with a large number of arrests.  Finding a drunk constable in Hammersmith.  Relief work and tackling early shifts.  Describes his strict supervision of PCs and reputation amongst colleagues.

Track 5: 9’57” Incident in Hammersmith involving a lady driver and the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service.  Promotion to Chief Inspector and posting to Ealing in 1965.  Re- organisation of the London Boroughs and posting to Hounslow. Discusses the problems of managing the Relief in the brand new division.  Duties as Chief Inspector and transition to non- operational work.  Demonstration against the American embassy over the Vietnam war. Tackling the Grosvenor Square demonstration.

Track 6: 17’17” Shooting of 3 police officers in Shepherds Bush. .  Discusses the changes that were introduced, establishing administration units.  Establishing the first home beat system and initiating the scheme.  Introduction of the portable radios and problems that arose.  Crime prevention and establishing specialist units.  Crime prevention conference in Scotland Yard 1960s leading to crime prevention officers being established in each station. Active police work: tackling Feltham youth club fight, election day and supervising polling stations, and talking down a violent man with a knife.  IPS (International Police Society) visiting his station. Anti-Apartheid riots at Twickenham rugby stadium and utilising media coverage to uncover evidence.

Track 7: 12’27” Liaising with the media and running a column in the local newspaper.  Incident of an airplane on fire landing in Heathrow.  Community liaison activities and appeasing the social services’ act.  Issues of persistent underage offenders and tackling juvenile crime. Ambitions for promotion and planning for retirement.  Retirement and the support by the Metropolitan Police Service in relocation to Germany.  Undertaking a new role in Dusseldorf to investigate complaints against the armed services.

Track 8: 9’56” Police advisor role in Germany.  Investigating any complaints against British military personnel and ensuring that prosecution procedure was correct in accordance with British and German law.  Skiing in Austria and traveling around Europe. 1982 retiring and return to Hampshire.  Undertaking braille work and conservation working holidays.  Hobbies and interests: University of the Third Age.


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