Friends of the

Metropolitan Police History

Officer 40

Location of interview:

Officer's Gender:Male

Date joined Met Police:21 October 1968

Date left Met Police:15 May 1999

Rank of leaving:Chief Inspector

Divisons served:

Specialist service:Traffic Division

Transcript of interview

Or print interview to read

Click on to listen to track.

Track 3: 2'37”: Life before joining the Metropolitan Police: family circumstance and schooling: joining the Cadet Service; medically discharged, rheumatic fever; Civil Service, as clerk; did not like office life; machine engineering; re-applies for Metropolitan Police; many medical examinations; joins Metropolitan Police.

Track 4: 08'28”: Why the Metropolitan Police? Local to him: born and bred London; ignorant of country life; friend serving as a dog handler, and friend's father also serving; not happy with education/school; Cadets, exciting life; make him work hard; a good occupation; paid for fun. Very positive about Cadet life; living in police accommodation; parade square and drill sergeant; Commandant of Cadet School, describes and comments on; community work; conditioning; disciplined background; patrolling Sergeant; progression to the Job. No female Cadets or BME; comments on Cadets; Cadets from provinces; comments on; usefulness; communities of London.

Track 5: 04':19”: Second recruitment process: describes; medical examinations, specialists; fear of long term problems; left wrist swelling; good care; penicillin; application accepted; recruitment interview; showing his determination to become a Police Officer; death of father;

Track 6: 10'33”: First days at training school: elation and fears; describes TS accommodation. Make up of colleagues: no BME; 3 Women Police Officers, describes and comments on. Teaching and learning: hard work; rote leaning, A Reports; Larceny and Theft Acts; on Division; manageable and interested in doing; practicals, describes and comments on; local knowledge; country lads; team work; achieving as a class; instructors' vocation, comments on; being pushed; class numbers; class completes course. Trainees from outside London and Londoners, comments on; home visits; sense of responsibility to group; team ethic promoted by instructors; set attitudes for life in the Job.

Track 7: 08'53”: Posted Q District, North West London: father's death; Compassionate Posting; week off; taken to District Headquarters by Green Goddess; Harrow on the Hill, District Commander's base, West Street; anxieties of going out on the street; Learning Beats; learning from experienced officer. Working a Beat: Panda Cars; Burnt Oak Broadway; shaking door handles; pressures from Skippers; out on own; S District; chatting and Patrolling Sergeant; Night Duty and a crafty cigarette; worldly wise; public phone in Police Box, and distressed old lady; Watling Estate; husband's death.

Track 8: 10'46”: Continues: dealing with sudden deaths; visit to mortuary; first sudden death; training clicked in and deal with matter; Sudden Death Report; boost to confidence; dealing with peoples' problems; motivation for joining; thanks from old lady. Parade Room: describes processes; 15 minutes before tour of duty; lateness not tolerated; RT Car, parade an hour later; Edgware Division; Velocettes; Bushey late turn RT Car; Willesden and Edgware; postings; Reserve posting; playing fair; Parade Book; AS messages; notes in pocket book; supervision  Refreshments times, School Crossing ; Personal Radios; describes and comments on; reaction of old PCs;  last resort as RT car Operator; advice on what not to touch; Drivers' attitudes.

Track 9: 08'12”: Outer London policing: describes role and type of work; drunkenness;  Stanmore Underground Station; end of line and arresting drunks; describes incident with very large Irishman; tact and diplomacy; retail theft; domestic dispute Christmas Day; describes own family tranquillity; drunk, flying Christmas dinners and assault on wife; shocked by events; report but no action. Anti- Social Behaviour: youngsters; drugs problems; plain clothes observations; marijuana; lots of sudden deaths; describes Police Station Area; deaths of infants; Stanmore Common; working hard for arrests.

Track 10: 08'05”: Working with Specialist Departments: Women Police Officers; no women on the Relief; two Women Police Officers at Police Station; matters relating to children; Women Police Officers very good at specialism; perspective as young PC; describes older Women Police Officers; describes younger Women Police Officer: very professional and supportive. Crime Arrests: popping upstairs; DS 1st Class, allocates DC or Aide for assistance. Traffic Division: would take over and deal with serious incidents; good at providing advice on minor matters; Vehicle Examinations. DS 1st Class: had worked C District, West End; unorthodox; supportive. Police Prosecutions: domestic assault; CID present cases; no CPS, court work; as PS prosecuting Road Traffic Cases. Senior Officers: did not see often; outlines command structure; never see them on parade; knew who they were; AQR; doing the books; All Correct Sir!

Track 11: 20'14”: Promotion: marriage, child and own house; passed Promotion to Sergeant; General Orders; doing the amendments; promotion classes; weekly tests and motivation; doing it properly; came 13th; Special Course Interview; Bramshill; domestic obligations; did not try; regrets this. Posted S,  Hendon, very experienced colleague who had worked M; Night Duty, and three weeks alone as Skipper. Shift Pattern: describes and comments; 12 week cycle; courts and paperwork. Two Sergeants each shift: 4 shifts, 8 Sergeants; PCs on duty. Describes Police Station Area: Jewish community; very few other BME; council estates; expensive private properties and burglaries; Section 54(13), Metropolitan Police Act 1839; taking and working out charges; worrying as new Sergeant.; Book 12A; writing up, and governors. Mill Hill Sub-Division: transferred to;  Sergeant and relationship with Woman Police Officer; Women Police Officers and Reliefs;  Comments on Police Station, prefabricated building: cells and prisoners kicking their way out; good atmosphere and staff; describes and comments on staff. Describes incident: Night Duty and collators office; taskings; arrest of suspect; remanded in custody; fight at local Public House; call for Urgent Assistance; brother of suspect steals car and crashes into collator's office; describes damage.

Track 12: 07'07”: Specialism: transfers to Traffic Division, reason for: opportunities in Metropolitan Police; advice from friend; applications requested for Traffic Division Sergeant in Police Orders; full motorcycle license required.  Form 728 ; recommendation; interviewed, difficult; a lot of competition;  interview panel, describes; Commanders; mechanical theory; interview strategy;  no idea of out come; gets through. Sent on courses while still attached to Division; details and describes courses. Posted to TDQ: advanced course; garage Sergeant; a wonderful time:

Track 13: 14'49”: Garage Sergeant: describes role; supervisory officer, primary function; investigating police vehicles involved in accidents; taken very seriously; Area Cars and fatalities; B10, B Department Traffic and Transport;  Chief Inspectors  and deal with Polaccs; Women Police Officers TDQ: woman motorcycle rider; Describes garage: offices, canteen and vehicle area; comments  senior officer establishment parading 40 officers; describes Districts; two man cars, five to each district; and solo motorcycle patrols; Accident Prevention Units; Black Rats; speed radar and advice to drivers. Night Duty, describes staffing; main staffing during day; roving commission; radio traffic and duty to Division; getting job done; CTC15, Log Book; criticism of Traffic Division; no special treatment for CID; pride in work; getting the job done; Breath testing; car and motorcycles, and driving fast to calls.   Promotion to Inspector: applies for Special Escort Group; describes role; royal family and VIP; high risk prisoners; prisoner from Brixton Prison to Lewes Court; going armed; Princess Margaret, solos as motorcycle escort; Qualified as Inspector. Takes examination again.

Track 14: 06'00”: Court work as Traffic Officer: Process and police prosecutions; juggling court dates and role as supervisor; drain on staff numbers; overtime budget; pressure from Senior Officers; officers liked the over-time; covering patrol work; number of Sergeants; CTC Night Duty: good earner; interesting and useful experience. Crime arrests: CID support for good arrests.

Track 15: 15'47”:  Special Escort Group: Promotion to Inspector: Posted Paddington Green; Central London work, question of experience; comments on; enjoyed this posting, comments on; busy Police Station Area, variety of work; staff experience; older PCs, and their shrewdness; Bramshill flyers; Special Course. The Relief: 6 Sergeants, and 30 PCs; Night Duty at weekend, and charging prisoners; many prisoners; steep learning curve; gaming clubs. Local communities: Sectional Station St John's Wood; wealthy areas and council estates; BME; sex workers; violence against police; support to Harrow Road, and the Mozart estate; cosmopolitan are;  security suite Paddington Green; whole police station shut down with high risk prisoners;  problems with. Women Police Officers: BME, Asian officer; support for, and comments on; very happy about; advice to Asian officer; police weird sense of humour; Asian officer standing his ground; little chats on patrol with PCs. Women Police Officer: very good; strong characters; toughening process; role as Relief Inspector; careful not to be over-protective; Praed Street.

Track 16: 07'02”: Lords Cricket Ground: crowds; too many glasses of champagne; Test Matches with Asian countries; excitable, comments on; Inspector from A8; re-writing operational orders for Lords;  nature of cricket crowds.  Twickenham; Wembley; Willesden and Barnet Football Clubs; comments on; fed at HMSO canteen; role as PC;  football violence;  football and hooligans.

Track 17: 05'41”: Public Order: January 1969, Grosvenor Square; Green Goddess; Training School; trudge and wedge; guarding US Embassy, comments on; US Marines; aware of 1968 problems; Posting South Square and Piccadilly; Public Order TDQ; describes role; diversions and managing; protecting motorists; reliability of motorcycles.

Track 18: 21'03”: Describes an incident: Maida Avenue,  finding authorised shot;  Paddington: Female Police  Inspector: Commander, and  new Inspector's projects; 3000 word essay; Area Planning and Evaluation Unit; objectives and measuring; 2 Area; describes staffing of unit; Commander D, District Planning Unit; liaison with Area team; set up District Planning and Evaluation Unit; Chief Superintendents; comments on role; manager of people, and upward management; managing new system; had to be correct for Area; enjoyed role; being listened to. Old system: problems on Division; what to do; talking to community; justifications; objectives; measuring how achieved, and opposition to; required a change of view on Division; PCs attitudes, public accountability; demonstrating direction; explaining 'fancy' objectives to PCs; understanding . Manpower Application Formula: Time of tremendous change.

Track 19: 20'38”: Continuation: Planning role: 6 months tour extended to 12 months; transferred back to Division; young Inspector, and gaining more experience; opposition from Chief Superintendents, and reactions. Posted to Area HQ: Inter District Transfer Scheme; previous contacts; secondment for role; link between Area and D2 (Personnel and Training);  liaison role, describes;  Civilian side, comments on; interesting role, new insights; Civilian perspective; very good at role and motivated; paperwork for Civilians. Describes  IDT: fairness; random postings after TS;  Inner Divisions, and travel to work after marriage; every five years PC and Sergeants moved around for fairness and wider experience. Scrupulously fair: upheaval for officers; hearts and minds; had to be able justify; moves had to be feasible for travel; route plans; appeals; reporting to the DAC;  interesting and daunting experience. Applied to CID also: comments on CID; DI and DCI attitude to their teams; DC promoted to DS had to do 1 year's service in uniform: very good contributions to Reliefs;  1985 IDT Officer for Area 2: Area system reformed; Area Headquarters Postings; DAC and Area reforms, involved with; IDT Officer 8 Area, Cannon Row; new team; thought an interesting move; Central London work; less work in volume but more difficult task; forward thinking Commander Support: DAC.

Track 20:  08'48”: Cannon Row: change to role; IDT Officer and Personnel Officer; increase in workload; welfare, counselling, Carousel Courses, Bramshill; dealing with people; responsibilities; vulnerable people. Types of problems: people not coping with role; providing training; grievances; wrestling with problems; very difficult aspect; good Commander Support, often points in right direction;  Personal side of life: marital affairs; sexual orientation issues; Affairs and friendships. Steep learning curve; mainly enjoyable; getting results; making a difference. Carousel Course: protecting self; people must solve own problems; identify alternatives.

Track 21: 07'28”: Development of Welfare Service: inadequacies of existing system; opening the flood gates; reaction to going to Welfare perceptions; Welfare Department expanded; improvements; grew from need; credit of Commanders Support; the Job not aware of problems arising;  MPS taking responsible for organisational stress on people; stress was getting much greater; previously ex-service people, now inexperienced young people; lack of knowledge of London life but intolerable expectations to cope with.

Track 22: 10'58”: Future Planning, Personnel: change of senior officers, promotions, retirements: abysmal; no succession planning. Reforms with Area Personnel: deciding how to deploy people; nepotism. Commanders Support: help from Personnel Department; career paths and strengths. Appraisals: standard format did not work; idiosyncrasies of appraising officers, and grades; uses own knowledge of people to assess appraisals; unfairness; adjustments; under-marking and over- marking; thinking objectively about progression; wrestling with problems of system; alternatives; lack of quality control; strengths, weaknesses and objectives; quantifying objectives; shrewdness and playing the system; dealing with human frailties and deviousness; operational costs of systems.

Track 23: 10'00”: Responsibilities toward Civilian Staff: high numbers of staff; breakdown of staff; task, gender, ethnic origins and qualifications; details not known; lack of sophistication; data gathering. Finding the Commissioner's driver: no records of skills; applying to Divisions, grapevine; need for record data control. BME Officers and posting to areas of high ethnicity: does not recall being done; own views on; educating own officers. Discrimination: low level; very little racial discrimination; own service at Paddington; sexism, a problem; own judgements; Praed Street Night Duty; complaints of discrimination; never racial; sexual discrimination, being overlooked for courses; specialist units; no serious sexual harassment. Difficulties dealing sexual discrimination and courses: difficulties of investigating; justification of decisions; change of culture.

Track 24: 05'00”: Police Federation: liaison with, issues, relationship; good relationship; worked hard on; no advantage in antagonising; discussions were ever possible; confidentialities. Police Federation reasonable to deal with: fairness important;

Track 25: 13'05”: Promotion, Chief Inspector: back to operational work; posted Paddington, reasons for; busy Police Station Area; support of Area; deputy to Chief Inspector Operations; describes role; vice work; leading raids; a lot of vice in Paddington; describes vice in area; support from and learning from Chief Inspector. Comments of vice: legalisation of vice; getting rid of coercion; nasty aspects unstoppable. History of vice and MPS: failure to deal with; rescuing vulnerable people; drug addiction and fear; foreign sex workers under duress; resource limitations; plight of individuals and coercion; ancillary crime around vice; sex workers from north and drug habit; pimps; criminal syndicates; money laundering. Adding to skill set: learning to plan raids; good grounding for later work; surveillance teams; supervision skills; public order work; improved promotion prospects.

Track 26:  20'51”: Continuation: Promotion to Chief Inspector: describes processes; form filling and recommendations; selection  panel; ensuring fair play; promotion by board and selection; daunting experience, describes and comments on; pleasant atmosphere but testing; learning result from Police Orders; successful. 'Nepotism': Chief Superintendent 7 Area whom he knew, and vacancy at Barnet; comments on; travel plans; Division 55 square miles; describes Division; comments on personnel work. Describes Divisional area: two radio networks; Chief Inspector personnel; sick leave of operational Chief Inspector; had to combine both roles; comments on his situation; busy but enjoyable. Takes on operational role; suggests part-time hours for Bushey Police Station; ideas rejected; describes current situation. Barnet FC: Underhill; slope of pitch; crowd sizes; no public order issues, occasional drunkenness; no proper contingency plans; write plans; ambitions of Barnet FC; location of ground and residents; emergency service access; parking restrictions. Barnet operational implications: describes Police Station Area; burglaries and other crimes; uncomplicated area; sheer size and limited resources; prison over-crowding and Whetstone Police Station as over flow. Sickness of colleague.

Track 27: 24'08”: 1990: posted 7 Area Complaints Against Police Unit: compulsory posting due to previous holder's promotion; enjoyed posting; good complaints investigation team; describes staff arrangements; comments of lack of CID experience; Traffic and POLACc investigations; no training; excellent Sergeants; team ethic; selection process for Sergeants; travelling around the country to interview complainants; useful experience; close relationship with the public not happy with the Job; honing diplomacy skills; informal resolutions and cutting down work load for minor cases;  Presenting Officer at discipline board: internal 'court of law'; explaining the system to Divisional supervising officers, describes and comments on; Complaints Against Police: describes processes; identifying the officer; Form 163; preparing for interview; in depth interview of complainant; motivations of complainants; Sub Judice cases; Sergeants and statement taking; interview complainants witnesses; interviewing officers; caution and criminal allegations; taped interviews; Federation or solicitors. Report writing stage; Area and CO; and set format; detailing the investigation;  recommendations; endorse or opposed. His Superintendent: discusses cases and decisions; advice from; bounced complaints. Police Complaints Authority: comments on; supervised investigations; their HQ; very perceptive colleague from; liaison with; reports to PCA. Police Investigating Police: comments on; allegations of lack of independence; PCA independent element; knowing the angles and own experience; instinct; critics; least worst option. Comments on own cases: investigating black officer at Golders Green; under scrutiny; Divisional Superintendent; insufficient evidence.

Track 28: 14'26”: End of two year Tenure: re-organisation of Divisional commands; Golders Green vacancy; operational 'boss': Golders Green Chief Inspector, Traffic: posted 2 Area; posting based on qualifications; amalgamations of garages; rivalry between garages; reforms to Areas, now 5 Areas; comments on his work at Personnel. Last Posting; like all service enjoyable. Posting to Area Personnel prior to Traffic: HEO personnels on Division; sorting role out; different personalities; Area Training Unit. Differences to Personnel system: computers and civilian staff; progress has been made; Area Training Unit, interested in; ATU Inspector; staff problems, and inter-personal skills; resolving issues. Divisional personnel structures; comments on. Command and Support: Senior Officer postings.

Track 29: 04'42”: Reform to Area from 8 to 5: his input, describes and comments; 'selling' to colleagues; new Divisions to Areas, and their Senior Officers; getting to know each other; what the boss wants; Need for tact with Senior Officers' and appraisalsTrack 30:12'29”: Chief Inspector, Traffic: staffing Traffic Patrols: budgets, over-time and providing a service; Divisions becoming more autonomous; service from Area including Traffic; Traffic and Public Order; Tottenham and Arsenal football matches; Wembley Stadium; Division and Area resources. His boss; Chief Superintendent Operations, 5 Area; meeting every day; moves office from TDS to TDQ; comments on; pressures of role; accident investigation very sophisticated; Fatal Accidents; Traffic becomes indispensable; value of Traffic; proper management of; patrolling officers by tradition very autonomous; teams and performance; his requirements. New Traffic equipment; better equipment, motorcycles; radios and communications; describes and comments on motorcycles used. Clothing: describes and comments on: old equipment.

Track 31: 5'31”: Continues: old clothing and its limitations; Velocettes and Gannex Macs; new clothing, leather trousers;  jackets. Cars; describes old vehicles; Hangar Lane; Triumphs and faults; Rover SD1, cumbersome; Volvo and BMW; M1. Officer Safety: fast roads; Obligations following from higher resources: providing a service to Divisions; no call unanswered.

Track 32: 15'51”: Public Order: Brixton and Traffic road blocks; Wembley Stadium; Demonstrations; Inspector, South African Embassy. Operations: Cadre Training; Advanced Public Order Training; Planning and Deployment; directing operations; Hounslow, POTC, two days every months; describes POTC; hostage situations; Five Man Overhead; tough training; Police Support Units and scenarios; bricks and petrol bombs; directing officers; 500 metre Shield Run; round shields. Notting Hill Carnival: mobile reserve; 1000m Shield Run,  fitness standard. Peaceful Notting Hill Carnivals; Central London demonstrations; kitting up; Notting Hill Carnival and Traffic Division: white topped hat; long hours; body found, murder; Major Incident Team. Princess Diana funeral: route for courtege: SEG; Area HQ lunch, pager message; boundary of Finchley Road to Junction 5; staff deployed; planning; M1 control and CCTV; closing Motorway, north bound; respectful crowd; worries; cortege stops; hearse driver has to stop to clear flowers from windscreen; south bound traffic stops; closes motorway; drivers back to cars; resolving traffic delays.

Track 33: 11'16”: Retirement from Traffic: reasons for retirement; 30 years' service; changes to the Job; Cup Final last day; Wembley Stadium do; May 1999. Does not regret his retirement: intended to do nothing; father's death at 55 years. Took on paid role operational planning for Wembley Stadium: daily fee for work; full time job; Control Room Wembley. Safety Officer Leyton Orient: wife's work; closure of Wembley for rebuild; move to Worcestershire. Comments on post retirement work. Joining the Job again: comments on; changes to the Job; would have a good time; comments on. View of him as a retired Police Officer. Comments on interview.


Friends of the Metropolitan Police Historical Collection

38 Wincanton Road

Noak Hill



  • Email

    Email Us
  • Registered Charity Number: 1167839