Friends of the

Metropolitan Police History

Officer 42

Location of interview:Bridport, Dorset

Officer's Gender:Male

Date joined Met Police:12 June 1967

Date left Met Police:10 October 1995

Rank of leaving:Detective Inspector

Divisons served:X (Southall), D (Marylebone Lane), Heathrow

Specialist service:A8 Public Order Personnel. Special Constabulary

Transcript of interview

Or print interview to read

Click on to listen to track.

Track 1: 6’04” (Introduction to interview) Life before the Metropolitan Police Service: siblings and family life. Application to the Dorchester Police cadets and decision on leaving school to join the Royal Air Force in the RAF police. Paying to get out of the RAF police and joining the Special Constabulary at Southall. Training school in June 1967. Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, father's death and ambitions.  Family’s reaction to decision to join the Metropolitan Police Service. Shepherds  Bush  murder  of  the Q  Car  crew  August  1966.   Selection  process  to  the  Special Constabulary.  Reflections on relations with the full time officers at Southall.

Track 2: 17’59” Posting to Greenford: recollections of colleagues, duties and incidents. Engagement and appendix operation. Working in the collating system and the Shepherds Bush murders. Introduction of new equipment and technology: panda cars, radios and the breath test. Reflections on the old system: police box and the bicycle. Impact of the introduction of the pandas on colleague relations and policing. Implications of the introduction of the breath test in 1968 on drivers, arrests and prosecution procedure. Radios aiding arrests, catching criminals and community policing. 1969 incident of a child drowning and attempting resuscitation. Dealing with the trauma of the incident and the lack of support from the Metropolitan Police Service in 1970. 1969 married and living in Ealing. Studying for promotion and wish to move out of police quarters. Birth of son Mark 1971 and passing the promotion exam in 1972. Posting to Marylebone Lane and impressions of duties and dangerous demands of new post. Incident of Jim Starritt visiting the station and relocating the shoplifting squad to Paddington. Recalls raiding a shoplifter's home.

Track 3: 16’25” Women PCs. Role: Children, young persons and missing people. Incident in Northwood with an American serviceman circumcising his two children and the utilisation of female officers to deal with the children. Standards of dress and supervising female officers. Female officers in Heathrow and total integration. Incident of a female officer and male arguing over dress codes. Working in vice: raiding brothels and massage parlors. Incident of a disastrous raid on a massage parlor. A8 public order planning branch.  Interview process and getting the job in A8. Duties, incidents and role in A8: (7’03) dealing with funeral for Roger Goad who was killed in Kensington Park Street bomb 1975. Robert Mark. Challenges of organizing funeral in Basingstoke: colleagues, transport, catering, bomb at the Hilton in Park Lane. 1975 daily explosions in London by IRA. Combined uniform and CID presence in central  London  and working a grid system. Shooting near Parliament and pursuit by plain clothed police across London until they took Mr and Mrs Mathews hostage in Balcombe Street. Media attention and tackling the operation in Balcombe Street. A8(1) operation order side of branch: Notting Hill Carnival. Planning and preparation of the Notting Hill Carnival. Tackling the riots with limited equipment. Robert Mark and the Home Secretary decision to introduce shields. Discusses Notting  Hill Carnival and the pressures of the event.

Track 4: 14’03” 1979 transfer out of A8 and back to division for promotion.  1979 General Election campaign and Southall’s decision to put forward a BNP candidate.  Policing the Southall demonstration against the BNP candidate.  Discusses the breakdown of the plan to allow the demonstration.  Discusses the incident of Blair Peach’s death and policing the public disorder.  Implications on future policing.  Margaret Thatcher’s election.  Discusses the mood of the police and the public in light of the demonstrators in Southall.  Posting June1979 to Heathrow and undertaking security policing.  Relief work and establishing a street duty course (the integration into divisional policing following training school).  Incidents at Heathrow: Supervisor on the security section.    Working as acting Inspector. Tackling security incidents at Heathrow.  1981 return to A8 on the eve of the Royal wedding and the fireworks display.  Discusses the events surrounding  Prince Charles and Diana’s wedding.  Return to Heathrow and process to promotion to Inspector.  1982 visit of the Pope to London and return to A8.  The possibility of the Falklands War preventing the Pope's visit to London and the impact when he did visit on the general public.

Track 5: 13’46” Promotion to Inspector and posting Harrow in June 1982.  Moving home to Buckinghamshire. Working in the Territorial Support Group and eventually gaining a Relief. Incident of a colleague threatening to commit suicide (1.45).  January 1983 call to Harrow council flat of a nurse and dealing with a domestic problem and finding the dead body of the wife.   Dealing with the trauma.  Becoming acting Chief Inspector in Harrow.  Debriefing police officers after the Broadwater Farm incident.  Discusses the funeral and treatment of Keith Blakelock and his family. 1983 Harrods bomb: attending the scene, aiding colleagues and learning from the incident.  Role of Christian faith in his life.  Leadership shown by Geoffrey Dear.  Mother’s nervous breakdown.  1987 decision to train for Ordination.  1988 mother died.

Track 6: 15’59” Transfer to TOPSY computer project posting from Harrow. Working as management for change facilitator and producing a monthly paper.  Process towards promotion to Chief Inspector and working as acting Superintendent. Aiding Pastoral care in Metropolitan Police Service and working with victims, families and colleagues.  Responsibilities as personnel officer.  Recalls succeeding in aiding colleagues' career progression in light of changes in the structure of the Metropolitan Police Service. Industrial tribunals against the Metropolitan Police Service.  One case of a women officer wishing to return to a certain post following maternity leave.  Describes giving pastoral support to police officers put on leave following accusations of corruption. Aiding one young police officer who was suffering from a genetic disease and helping him gain an injury award from the Metropolitan Police Service.  Fellowship and friendship of personnel officers.  Discusses the problems of his successor Bill in A8 whose two daughters died.

Track 7: 10’47” 1994 Sheehy Inquiry into the structures and ranks of the Metropolitan Police Service.  Discusses progression into a new Pastoral role full time.  Parish near Exeter and issue of his political views that women should be admitted. Archdeacon of Barnstable's visit and discussion about parishes in north Devon.  Becoming team rector and retiring from the Metropolitan Police Service in 1995.  Discusses treatment by the Metropolitan Police Service following his retirement. Issues surrounding his continuing work to assist employment  industrial tribunal cases and finishing outstanding case work.  Reaction to employment tribunal case being settled out of court.  Organising the funeral of a colleague,  7 years working in north Devon.  Highlights of his work: Lynmouth flood commemoration and the Duke of Edinburgh’s visit.

Track 8: 4’07” Death of his son Mark: marriage in 1995, and began ordination training in Durham. Progressive illness and 2000 accident in a car park leading to his death.  Discusses the circumstances surrounding his suicide and dealing with the media attention.

Track 9: 5’01” Anecdotes: Ealing magistrate court and prosecution of a PC for a driving offence. A8 anti-terrorist briefing.  Reflections and regrets about career choice.  Perceptions about the changes in the Metropolitan Police Service and the community they police.


Friends of the Metropolitan Police Historical Collection

38 Wincanton Road

Noak Hill



  • Email

    Email Us
  • Registered Charity Number: 1167839