Location of interview:Shepperton
Date joined Met Police: 5 March 1951
Date left Met Police: 2 September 1984
Rank of leaving:Commander
Divisons served:D (Marylebone Lane), X (Ealing), T (Hounslow), B (Kensington)
Specialist service:No specialities
Transcript of interview
Click on to listen to track.
Track 1: 1’41” Introduction to interview
Track 2: 15’45” Life before the Metropolitan Police Service: Mother’s death at a young age, relocation around Britain for care during upbringing, impact of the outbreak of the war on life and return to life with father in Greenford. Evacuation at 11 and entrance to grammar school. Sporting successes. Working at company that made tanks and buses as progress chaser. Joining the Royal Marines for 2 years. Decision to join the Metropolitan Police Service. Father's employment as a plumber and later as a Kings/Queens messenger. Life in the Royal Marines: Becoming a Lance Corporal. Experiences in the Royal Marines: clicks, team work, barrack life, sporting and discipline. Reflects on life experiences growing up without his mother and world experience.
Track 3: 10’30” Reasons for joining the Metropolitan Police Service. Recruitment process and living situation during the process of joining. Peel House selection process. Sergeant’s role in providing him with a Metropolitan Police Service application form. Hendon training process and character of classmates. Describes courses and the accommodation.
Track 4: 20’37” Posting to Marylebone Lane station. Describes the beats 1,2 and 3. Recalls the character of the station and his reception in the old school police community. Describes his Relief and practicalities of arrests and prosecution in the local courts. Marble Arch traffic point. Discusses duties and roles as a probationer. Social life in the Metropolitan Police Service at the section house. Reflects on the relationship between the new recruits and the old PCs. Married life and living in Southall. Transfer to Ealing. Norwood Green on the day of the Queen's Wedding. Describes the character of the Ealing beat and the ‘old boys’ in the station. Ealing football team. George Rushbrook colleague at Ealing. Considers the character of the Ealing area and community. Policing peculiarities and aspects: Dog handler and cyclists, Police boxes and postings, area cars. Crime: wanted man for rape
Track 5: 29’42” Ealing studios and providing security during filming. Discusses working as an Aide to CID in Ealing 1953/54 and later in 1958/60. Incident of a murder in a bath by a German man. Posting to Hounslow, T district and moving to local married quarters in Bedfont. 1958-1960 Aide to CID in Hounslow. Desire to become part of CID and discusses selection process.
Discusses course he took to become a CID officer. Later became a Commander on the selection board for entrance to CID. Discusses role change from being a PC to Sergeant. Policing Kingston and supervising role as Sergeant. Working the beat as a supervisory officer and relationship with PCs under supervision. Promotion to Station Sergeant and posting to Staines until 1964. Reflects on the character of Staines. Recalls an incident involving a Sergeant who had gone off duty and alcohol. Promotion: criticism of CID selection process and Metropolitan Police Service politics undermining the promotion system. Freemasons and the Metropolitan Police Service: nomination, infamous role of senior officers in the Freemasons and dislike of the lodge. Stations Sergeant exam and becoming an Inspector in Kensington B district 1964. Policing outside Churchill’s house and reflects on Churchill’s death/funeral.
Track 6: 33’19” Working for SPG. SPG board chaired by John Gerrard and his appointment to Hounslow station in Unit 1. Leadership responsibility. Discusses preparation of constables for special role and selecting pairs. Reflects on relationship of Special Control Group with other stations and the community. Knitting the team together and producing results. Discusses crimes he tackled: Incident of setting up a road block in Peckham, tackling a prostitute problem in Tooting and the arrest of a lady with diplomatic privileges leading to political problems and disputes over the incident. Discusses role of John Gerrard in his career. Public order work and reserve role for events. Priority of major crime. Grosvenor Square 1968 and SPG units role to back up police units. Preventing Tariq Ali from inciting the crowd. Recalls the activity of the crowds and the police in Grosvenor Square in front of the American embassy. John Gerrard’s role in dealing with the crowds. Recalls the aftermath of the demonstration. Role of the horses in the policing of the demonstration. Reflects on choices by police on the day and how it was successfully handled. Role in establishing police strategy for Notting Hill Carnival. SPG arrest record.
Track 7: 16’17” Discusses police strategy to tackling demonstrations: isolating crowds and squeezing protestors. Reflects on changes in legislation preventing police strategies of the past. LSE background of some demonstrators. Concerns as a police officer at demonstrations: protecting the general public, preventing violence, manpower and maintaining public order. Considers views of PCs about demonstrators and police strategy. Demands of policing Notting Hill Carnival and weekend marches. Reflects on character and skills of new PCs.
Track 8: 12’05” Promotion to Chief Inspector after 4 years of the SPG. Problems of proper supervision and job roles. Recalls training PCs and probationers to ensure they were skilled. Teamwork and impact on PCs working role in the Metropolitan Police Service.
Track 9: 30’55” Work after Ruislip and posting to Anguilla, via Bermuda and Antigua. Recalls his accommodation and reception by the local police and community. Recollections, roles and duties: Queen's birthday parade, presenting a bill, uniform and climate. Return to A10 in 1972 and promotion to Chief Superintendent 1973. A10 role: investigate complaints against police officers. Recalls colleagues and one who committed suicide. Reflects on the effectiveness of the work of A10, especially in regards to CID. Remembers Robert Mark and his work in investigating the CID. Discusses the corruption that was occurring in the Metropolitan Police Service. Discusses his view on types of corruption and the problems that were occurring in the Metropolitan Police Service. Recounts arrests and his honest approach to policing.
Track 10: 16’00” Heathrow Airport 1974 and West Drayton station. Policing Staines and West Drayton. Perfecting policing procedure and protocol. Discusses the integration of BAA police into the Metropolitan Police Service. Incidents in Heathrow involving air crashes. Discusses the process of learning management skills in the Metropolitan Police Service. Recalls Bramshill and the 3 month course. Talks about tutors at Bramshill and their skills as instructors of Metropolitan Police Service officers. Discusses his view about University and the importance placed on education for acquiring jobs.
Track 11: 23’47” Promotion to Chief Superintendent and posting to Bow Street Station C district. Discusses the character of the community and area of policing. Recounts the principles of policing. Talks about the changing role of the Metropolitan Police Service due to manpower and the demands of the community. Discusses crime managers and work of police officers today. Reflects on roles and duties understood by police officers in the past and how they stand today. Impact of policing work on family life. Sporting activities in the Metropolitan Police Service. Social activities in the Metropolitan Police Service. William Whitelaw putting his points across to senior officers. Request for his return to Heathrow and the establishing of new systems to prevent abuses. Coordinating BA and Metropolitan Police Service procedures. Tackling problems with staff and duty procedures.
Track 12: 22’22” 1979 Detective Chief Superintendent. Discusses his posting to Hammersmith to take over CID. Discusses issues of taking over CID as a uniformed officer. Explains why he was put in charge of the CID department. Reflects on the colleagues and team in the CID department. Actions taken to tackle abusive practices such as sickness leave. Discusses the problem of sickness leave in Heathrow and how he tackled this problem. Man management used in the CID to improve the team. Recounts incidents in Hammersmith and events he policed. Approach to retirement. Interview with John Gerrard and promotion to Commander. Posting to Paddington Green D district. Organising the control maintenance room and adjusting to a new type of police station compared to Marylebone. Establishing a shoplifting unit at West End Central station. Political connections at a local level as a Commander. Relations with the local community and political persons. Incidents at Paddington Green. 1982 event of the man who sat on the Queen’s bed and called by the ACA. and posting as Commander of A District.
Track 13: (void)
Track 14: 00’39” A division and tackling the Michael Fagan security breach.
Track 15: 17’55” A division and Buckingham Palace. Tackling holes in the security system following Fagan's security breach. Establishing security posts and improving security. Tackling poor security at Westminster and Windsor Castle. 1982 death in a crush in Trafalgar event caused by crowd pressure and police procedure. Discusses how he sought to rectify this incident for the future. Mr Cracknell, the Palace DAC. Reflects on his feelings about the death of the person in Trafalgar Square. 1984 move to become No 1 Area CID Commander. Describes district and crime he tackled. Working as deputy to DAC John Cracknell. Incident in West Ham football ground and tackling the public order. Approach to retirement and reasons for taking retirement and activities: touring in vans around Ireland, gardening. Final thoughts and reflections about career in Metropolitan Police Service.