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Metropolitan Police History

Officer 77

Location of interview:

Officer's Gender:Male

Date joined Met Police:10 July 1967

Date left Met Police:11 April 1993

Rank of leaving:Detective Sergeant

Divisons served:

Specialist service:No specialities

Transcript of interview

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Track 2: 1’59”:  Life before joining the MET.  Life in Barking.  Local Secondary modern school.  Left school at 14 and apprentice in printing industry for 9 years.  Joined after getting married.  Incentive to join: 2 children, no money or qualifications.  He decided to either join the Fire Brigade or the MET police.  Drawn to MET because of the salary.

Track 3: 7’47”: Training and recruiting process.  Went to Borough High Street for the interview.  Sat exam.  Medical.  Accepted.  13 weeks at Peel House.  Recalls finding the studying extremely hard.  Good instructors.   Posted to Illford Police station.  Working at Illford: culture shock.  Recalls colleagues did very little work before his arrival.  Explains this was caused by an incident at Illford Broadway riots and impact on moral of the officers.  Issue of CID changing charges against suspects from assault of officers and causing officers to be badly cross-examined.  Officers subsequently pledged not to work.

Track 4: 8’40”: Learning beats at Illford.  Recalls failings of colleagues and training.  Recalls his subsequent mistakes: shoplifter incident.  Difficult solicitor defending the shoplifter, who harshly cross-examined him in court.  Magistrates Court did not support him and the lady got off.  PC banter and tough treatment by colleagues.  Recalls turning point in career: traffic offence court hearing and saw his relief being cross-examined.  Realised that they all lacked skills giving evidence.  Efforts to improve his skills giving evidence.  Living in married quarters.  

Track 5: 1’12”:  Married quarters.  Describes living environment in Wanstead.

Track 6: 8’20”: Life on the Relief at Illford.  Describes good young officers.  Arrested after an alleged altercation with a traffic offender.  Discusses his distress and the process of resolving the allegation.  Remembers the lack of support he received from colleagues. Recalls limited means of communication with other officers during incidences: co-incidence. Female officers: does not remember any.  Reception of female officers and role in the MET.  Ethnic minority:  recalls many.

Track 7: 2’44”:  Senior officers on the relief.  Lack of support, action or encouragement.  Social life as a police officer was limited: did not drink.  Devoted to becoming an efficient police officer, which dominated life.

Track 8: 10’05":  Rallyism (dealing with youth).  Working in plain clothes.   Recalls arresting 3 drunken men and dealing with an aggressive punch-up.  Opportunity to move to a Police house in Upminster in K-division.  Reflects on difference: motivated colleagues.  Enjoyed his senior officer Noel Moverhill  (3’16”).  Recalls the area was very bad and dominated by council houses and extremely bad people.  After 6 months applied to join the CID after working with a colleague who had been an aid to the CID.  Prompted by a burglary incident at a house.  Suspect was Derek Whitstaff (7’00”).  Recalls the investigation and his colleague solving the case by finding a sock left at the scene.  Impressed by his colleagues skills.

Track 9: 16’27”: Joining the CID.   Process of applying.  Moverhill supported his application to become an aid to CID.  Interview by Bill Chevell. Posted to Hornchurch Police station.  Part of the A squad and worked in a pair.  Recalls very little was going on in the area and found it difficult to fit in with the other officers.  Disenchanted, but inspired by Romford Chief Inspector Beachem Smith (3’29”) who got him on Q cars.  Intention of this section was to focus on arrests rather than long investigations.  13 week Q car tours creating 24 hour cover for the division.  Enjoyed his colleagues.  Did 3 tours.  After 6 months transferred to Romford and enjoyed his colleagues much more.  Worked as an aid for 3 years before becoming detective constable.  Recalls incidences during these 3 years.  Working with Steve Gardener and reporting to the scene of a murder.  Separated couple with a little girl.  Father had a new partner.  Mother jealous of the new partner and her daughters life with them.  Drowned her daughter in anger.  Recalls his distress.  Soccors (civilian officers) 12’29”)  involvement in CID work.  Recalls one particular Socco.  Dealing with grieving family and his insensitivity.  Remembers his horrified reaction to the officer.

Track 10: 6’57”: Aid to CID.  Preparing cases for court: support from CID, signed confession, simple system of prosecution.  CID course at Peel House: experienced instructors provided excellent training.  Interviewing prisoners and taking statements: 192 form for voluntary statement.

Track 11: 9’37”: Procedure for serious cases: magistrate court, crown court.  Preparing document called legal A 0’48": to organize legal representation.  Particular cases taken to crown court: 1 case involving Norman Bon (2’10”) who was dealing with the arrest of 2 men who were car park attendants where money was going missing. Describes the process of prosecution despite feeling that they did not deserve going to court.  Recalls the defense and harsh cross-examination in court. 

Track 12: 16’18”:  Process of becoming a fully-fledged CID officer.  Senior officers decided they were suitable and put their names forward for an area board.  K-division. Central Board.  2 ¾ years an aid to CID before becoming a CID officer.  Sergeant ranks: Forest Gate Detective Constable.  Forest Gate busy division.  Discusses working hours and average weekly hours.  Crimes in Forest Gate and role in dealing with incidents: greater involvement in investigations from crime book.  Pressures of arrest.  Recalls various arrests.  Recalls problem of not drinking.  Utilising Uniform for assistance.  Efficiency of early morning arrests and process of arrest and swift prosecution.

Track 13: 1’52”:  Family life while Detective.  Children and their career choices.

Track 14: 20’29”:  Life after working at Forest Gate.  Serious Crimes Squad.  Explains they were set up to deal with void left by the Crays in crime world.  Transferred to North Woolwich.  Recalls cases he worked on: GBH of a dock worker.  Investigating the involvement of corrupt CID police officers in allowing suspect to avoid arrest.  Afterwards transferred to Serious Crimes Squad, based in old married quarters in Lime House Police station.  Describes targets were gangs.  Investigating a prostitutes murder by Maltesse Syndicate, off-shoot of the Oseyner Brothers (6’40”).  Charlie Cray release from prison and his work following his activities.  Recalls his movements into Essex.  Association with ‘godfather of East Anglia’ called Geofrey Allen, who had been an associate of the Crays since 1950s.  Involved in property fraud.  Investigating Allen in Suffolk.  Work in East Anglia season investigating arson and property fraud.

Organised Crime – East End gangster with scrap metal business and involved in fraudulent cheques.  Hilder Harris colleague spotted his involvement with ‘fat little foreigner’.  Exposed the Hungarian Circle gang’s activities in London.  Arrest and discovery of their forged letters of credit, cheques, passports etc.  Explains how they had been undertaking the operation.  Describes the extent of their activity across the world.  Recalls his investigation that took him across the world.  3 months Committal proceedings and the extent of examination of all evidence.

Track 15: 1’31": Outcome of the case against the Hungarian Circle.  Conviction of various criminals.  Describes how some of the perpetrators escaped conviction.

Track 16: 6’35": Promotions on the Serious Crime Squad.  Sergeant exam passed.  Detective Sergeant board passed and promoted.  Stayed on the Serious Crime Squad.  Explains difference between being a competitor or qualifier. Describes enjoyment on the job, travelling the world working on investigations: Holland, Glasgow.  Work on the Triad.  Discovers a big passport scam.  Last case.  Decision to leave the squad after 5 years and go to a division.  Transferred.


Track 17: 0’52": Second interview 8th October 2010

Track 18: 5’49": Transferred to Barkingside.  September 1979.  Impressed by the senior officers at new division.  Role as Detective Sergeant in Police station: break-ins and robberies. Patrols of serious armed robberies.  Puzzle trick – robbing elderly people.  Describes the investigation: tracking down a hire van.  Recalls the prosecution council and inadequacies of the prosecution.

Track 19: 1’03": Discusses the Hornchurch case in respect to the armed robberies.

Track 20: 11’25": 6 months at Barking and asked to take over running of crime squad at Wood Green.  Large territory covered.   Describes colleagues on squad and process of patrol/supervision.  Process of arrest and prosecution.  Training of his colleagues.  After 1 year transferred to Firing squad 1981. Recalls incident of a colleague hearing in a pub about robberies in the area and a girls name involved in the break-ins (during his time on crime squad).   Searched her house and found evidence of her involvement. Examples of stumbling across cases to investigate.  Investigation of off-license robberies.  Describes careful investigation leading from clues of connection to weddings.  Use of informants.  Apprehending the perpetrators of the robbery and prosecution.

Track 21: 5’53": Information from informants.  Training process of CID officers.  Process of acquiring informants: Importance of treating criminals well and building trusting relationships.  Small number of informants.  Problem informants.   Running Informants on a personal basis.

Track 22: 10’45": June 1981 moved to the Firing Squad.  Explains the background of the squad.  Important role tackling the toughest crime.  Explains that 4 area offices now existed to deal with armed robberies.  Worked on 12 and 10 squad.  Hierarchy of supervision in the squads.  Explains different squad drivers and process of efficiency of responding to incidents.  Knowledge of the drivers.  Squad was an extension of the Crime Squad as worked purely in response to information, rather than responding to events.  Really enjoyed the work.  Relationship of the squads. Interesting jobs: Informant brought up the nickname of the man responsible for stealing a Rembrandt painting.  Describes apprehending the culprit.  Describes difficult process of prosecuting the man due to the solicitors.

Track 23: 8’35":Firing squad stories: aim to arrest armed robbers.  Reliant on information, which led to investigation into other crimes.  Pick pockets.  Dis (2’00) squad dispanded due to inadequacies of officers, which led to the loss of information.  Process of securing reliable informants. Example of speed of cases requiring action: Planned robbery of owner of a supermarket.  Lack of some crucial information: which supermarket or bank etc, which made it impossible to prevent the robbery.

Track 24: 2’08": Reality of the Firing squad.  Armed officers.  Utilising Fire Arms unit.  Explains the way in which investigations were tackled by the squad in co-ordination with other officers.  Becoming an authorised shot.

Track 25: 4’18": Describes reflections on the squad: enjoyable, mistake of becoming too bullish as a Detective Sergeant.  Pushed out.  Left the squad as a consequence.  Sent to Holloway.  New posting was a long way from home.  Disliked the CID officers at Holloway.  He was there for over 1 year, before taking over the N division Crime Squad.  Enjoyed the move.  Area N or M (3’30) division.  Impressed importance of getting out and patrolling and running informants.

Track 26: 2’56":  Life at N division Crime Squad.  Reflects on previous leader of the squad.  Reflects on importance of being a CID officer for improving his work. Revised the approach to dealing/rewarding informants and officers.

Track 27: 3’01": Particular cases on Crime Squad: gang running prostitutes and robbing punters.  Involved both black and white criminals.  Issue of the prosecuting legal team and officers giving evidence.

Track 28: 6’46": Pressures and problems and securing searches from informant he personally had.  Maintaining contact with the Firing Squad after moving. Female officers in the squads.  Important roles.  Moving to the Regional Crime Squad after being in a specialist department.  Explains divisional compared to regional crime squads.  Returned to Firing squad.  Impact on family life of working life.  Long working hours and travelling.

Track 29: 12’24": After Holloway Squad returned to Firing Squad.  Went to Leighton North-west Office of the Firing Squad, dealing purely with armed robbers.  Explains the impact of the Crown Prosecution introduction.  Critical of the personnel in the Prosecution service.  Meant that police officers no longer went to court, but just handed over evidence. Firing Squad: Routine work – targeting armed robbers.  Success stories.  Linking series of armed robberies.  Kevin Chapford (4’35”) describes a great detective constable who linked robberies.  Crime Watch broadcasting details of the case and leading to a 14 year old calling in with information.  Armed robbery on the M1 and the eventual apprehension of the armed robbers.  One had been a super-grass for the Firing Squad.  Taken on board as a super-grass again.  Gave up many other armed robbers.  Details the super-grass’ eventual prison term.  Considers what happens to the super-grass after he had informed on people.

Track 30: 1’28": Reflects on the life of the super-grass.  New identity provided only.

Track 31: 0’57": Time in the Firing squad. Tower Bridge Office of the squad and dealing with another Super-grass.

Track 32: 6’12": Double super-grass case.  Became the Staff officer to the commander of the squad.  Meant he became an active detective inspector.  2 trials back-to-back that took lots of time.  January 1990 received phone call from John O-Conner for him to go to Ireland.  Discusses allegations made during trial against him. Going to Northern Ireland.  Hendon, long service and good service medal.  Lived in Northern Ireland for 18 months.  Impact on private life of posting because of busy work.  Worked on cases of allegation of collusion between terrorist groups and security service.

Track 33: 1’37": Impact of living in Northern Ireland and working long hours.  Hard work.  Tough life on children.

Track 34: 18’37": Life after Northern Ireland.  Team disbanded.  Requested home posting and sent to Romford.  Working in a division of a CID office.  Junior CID officers and general approach to work changed dramatically.  Found it hard to deal with new situation.  Felt it necessary for him to personally deal with the harder crime cases.  Describes a case in Alchurch hospital of a fraudulent doctor.  Explains the problems of dealing with incompetent juniors and red-tape.  Explains the process of investigating the case to prove his guilt and offence.  Describes the American man who had been acting as a doctor.  Investigation by Russ Allen into the case and the offences by the fraudulent doctor.  His role in the death of a lady.  Describes how the enquiry took him to America.  Working to find additional evidence against the man.  Suspicion of his wife’s involvement in the case and proving the case.  Describes the prosecution case and process of convicting the man.  Discusses the recording of interviews and the implication on prosecution process.  Problems of transcripts of interviews in court cases.

Track 35: 7’17":  Life in Romford.  Interesting cases: false rape allegation.  Working for National Criminal Intelligence Service after formed.  Regional Intelligence officer working on putting together evidence packages for top-crime villains.  Poor management.  Stress of the post.  Suffered a perceived heart attack.  Psychiatrist and chief medical officer both assessed him and suggested he take a break from work.  After 25 years and 9 months in the MET came the unplanned end of his career.

Track 36: 3’45": Decision not to return to duty.  Financial pressures and resolutions.  Retired.  Decision not to work for London Transport for health reasons.  Started writing and became published.

Track 37: 2’20": Describes an incident during his 2 years probation and before worked for CID.  Describes senior officers.  Involvement in dealing with a domestic violence case, where the lady asked him if he could just beat up her husband.


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