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Metropolitan Police History

Officer 99

Location of interview:

Officer's Gender:Male

Date joined Met Police:13 August 1963

Date left Met Police: 9 August 1967

Rank of leaving:Constable

Divisons served:

Specialist service:No specialities

Transcript of interview

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Track 1: 106’53’ Introduction to interview.  Age 19 when joined as Special Constable.  Left and joined Transport Police.

Life before joining the MET.  Born in Hammersmith.  Lived in Shephard’s Bush.  Moved to South West London, Putney Heath.  1 younger brother. Lived in Alton Estate, Putney Heath.  Applied to join the Special Constabulary after meeting another Special constable.  Career of parents; mother was a housewife and Father was a metal storekeeper.  Reflects on his Father’s character and his background.  Parent’s poor backgrounds and difficult relationship.

Explains his interest in joining the MET as a special constable.   Recalls his application to join the Special Constabulary.  Describes the attitude to the Special Constabulary.  Reaction of family to his choice of career in the MET police.  Slow process of admittance to the SC.  Intensive medical examination.  Acceptance to the SC.  Discusses the medical exam and Chief Inspector.  Describes the ill health of his father and his death.  Attitude and motivation of the Chief Inspector when he visited his home.   Explains he lived on a council estate.

First day as a Special Constable.  Theoretical training.  Weekly training at Tooting police station.  Practical exercises and training.  Preparation limitations to the training.  Explains the approach to introducing new Special Constables to police work.  Perks of MET job.  Police Box.  Reflections on his years as a young Special constable.  Class of SCs. Appointments as a SC.  Operating Police box.  Describes the old uniform and problems with police equipment.  Self defense training. Describes the limitations to the training.  Tooting theoretical training.  Working shifts.  Weekly meetings.  Working late shifts on a Saturday for shop work.  Allowances.  Protocol for uniform and going off duty.  Mods and Rockers incidents.  Variety of duties.  Traffic regulation.  Shop work.  LEB work.  Leaving the LEB because of poor pay.  Balham LEB posting.  Later working in Tooting.  Reflects on his boss at the LEB.  Showroom work.  Discretionary deals.  

Describes W-division.  One incident when he was on duty on Putney Bridge.  Recalls 2 MET motorcyclists on traffic division who were rude to him.  Describes discussing the difficult officer with his division supervisor.  Reflects on the relationship with MET officers and Special Constables.  Describes another incident on patrol with a PC and the difficult relationship as a Special Constable.  Describes his roles and activities as a Special Constable.

Explains that he was not issued with handcuffs as a Special constable.  Describes incident of dealing with a drunk and disorderly incident.  Calling a Noddy bike driver to arrest the man.  Finding limited support from the PCs.  Man of the public drove him to the station to arrest the man.  Recalls incident of a regular PC who requested he help him to learn his beat.

Women Special Constables at Wandsworth.  Role of Women Special constables.  Freedom as a Special constable.  Refreshments on duty.  Section house refreshment.  Equipment for wet weather; grey coat.  Torches and limitations. 

Training in 1965 to become a regular PC at Peele House.    Describes Peele House and facilities.  Describes his colleagues and the issues he received because he had been a Special Constable.  Stress of the training programme, especially learning the law.  Rules and regulations at Peele House.  Poor treatment he received at Peele House because he had been a Special Constable.  Explains his resignation due to ill treatment and psychological trauma during his training.  Describes the mental pressure they placed on the trainees.  Life after the MET.  Special Sergeant at Putney Station requested he returned as a Special Constable 1965.  Describes returning as a Special Constable.

Residential lifestyle at Peele House.  Describes his life at Peele House as being similar to Prison.  Refreshments and provisions at Peele House.  Parading.  Describes living in the West End of London.  Pressures of the training course.  Sports day at Hendon and getting a sports injury.  Swimming training.  Limited life saving training.  Office safety training week. 

Considers the absence of female and ethnic minority trainees at Peele House.

Recalls his broken engagement to a female officer at Scotland Yard.  Considers the influence of his fiancée to pursue his career in the MET and his trauma when she called the engagement off.  Support of colleagues during his emotional period.  Cameraderie.  WPC Carol Scard.

1965-1967 Worked in the C3 branch as a Special Constable.  Reflects on the difficult incidents he had to deal with during the time.  ‘Floaters’.  Suicides.  Technology.  Preparation for railway policing.

Decision to apply to the Transport Police.  Phone call from a transport policeman call Lockhart and assuming it was a prank.  Describes the application interview and acceptance process.   Describes Lockhart.  Explains that he was grilled over his role in the MET and resignation from the training programme at Peele House.  Recalls he felt that the Transport Police would not allow victimization.  Incident of being kept waiting as a London Transport Officer.  Treatment of London Transport Officers and perception of the danger of their role.  Return to Peele House for training as a London Transport Officer.  Considers the better treatment as a London Transport Officer.  Better provisions of uniform and policing equipment.  Considers his colleagues and one officer called Craves, who could not march.  Fond memories of colleagues and enjoyment of his new position within the Transport Police.

Moved to Windsor training accommodation after Peele House.  Describes the high level of the accommodation in Windsor.  Relaxed atmosphere.  Christmas Party at Peele House.  Describes his intake at Peele House in 1967.  New accommodation block.  Tadworth purpose built training accommodation.  Police dog work.   Considers starting work as an officer for the London underground.  Practical knowledge and responding to an incident.  Describes a colleague who enjoyed pushing his police powers.  Explains the parade and duty system.  Describes activities of his colleague Harry.  Recalls another colleague who had holes in his helmet.

Considers his time parading as a Special Constable.  Reflects on his enjoyment of his work.  Pop festival at the Odeon in Tooting 1960s showing Lulu and the Beach Boys. Escorting Roy to the show.  Considers the Beach Boys and a fan getting passed him to get to the band.  Responsibilities as a Special Constable at similar shows.

Mods and Rockers crime at Rowhampton Village.  Coffee Bars filled by Mods.  Describes an incident.  Police Box used to call for an ambulance for a drunk and left without support.  Anticipation of clash between Mods and Rockers.  Asked to attend to a flat where the door was open.  Describes the scene and a drunk lady.

Incident of almost being run over by a car.  Posting on Putney bridge traffic duty.  Considers the community of Putney and policing demands.

Policing at the Westminster Abby memorial service for the shooting of three officers in Shephards Bush.  Describes the shooting and Harry Roberts.  Recalls the appeal for officers to work at the event.  Describes the memorial service and the impact of the incident upon his decision to continue in the service.

Walking onto the film set of Doc Green.  Talking to the actor Peter Burn and the film set.

Track 2: 106’42’ Career in British Transport Police 1967 – 2000.  Lambeth sub-division.  Patrol duties with established PCs.  Recalls a colleague who had been in the RAF.  Reflects on ex-military careers of many PCs.  First arrest before arriving at Peele House.  Describes the youth arrest.  Recalls an enthusiastic colleague who took many arrests.  Magistrate courts.  Magristrate Lina Loury (6’05’).  Describes the prosecution process within court procedure and close relationship between PCs and the magistrate.  Recalls the strong characters of the veteran PCs.  Transition from veteran to new PCs.

Plain clothe work.  Serving as a district PC at Lambeth North.  CID at Baker Street for 1 week.  Posting to plain clothes road services investigation squad.  Describes the responsibility of the Transport Police.  Following up on any incident that occurs on public transport.  Describes incidents he dealt with in this area.  Ealing incident of assault against a female passenger.    Importance of Transport Police pursuing incidents beyond the efforts of Met police officers.  Describes an incident on a bus involving an altercation between two men over a dog.  Recalls following up the incident and the attitude of the man regarding the rights of his dog.

Reflects on leaving the railway and returning to the road policing.  1974 summoned to HQ regarding the breakdown of a Sergeant.  Posted to prosecution sections at HQ.  Considers the new role, working with civilian clerks.  Acting as a Sergeant.   Prosecutions bible.  Reflects on expectations of his new role with limited monetary benefits.  Considers pay for PCs.  Limited support for PCs with pressures of the job.  Football hooliganism 1970s.  1984 improvements in pay. Disparity in pay.

BTP intelligence section.  Undercover detectives.  Dealing with football hooliganism.  Prosecution side of BTP.  BTP solicitors and case work.  Equipment; radios, area cars.  Unmarked cars.  Psychological barriers for BTP.  Relationship with station staff.  Describes their identification as BTP.  Describes incidents they needed to deal with, including vagrants.  Welcome role.  Calls for assistance with limited equipment.  Rail staff provided aid to BTP officers.  Incident of a busker assaulting a BTP officer.  MET assistance.  Considers they were felt to be London Transport Police officers not BTP.

Training at Windsor.  Rail safety training.  Dangers of the electrified rails.  Dealing with the railway company and business interests.  Dealing with transport incidents on the rails.  Warehouse thief killed at Kings Cross after falling on the lines.  Dangers for officers dealing with live rail lines.  Lack of personal protective equipment when dealing with dead body parts.

Describes his pride working for the police force.  HQ general orders and protocol for BTP officers.  Crowd problems.  Rush hour issues.  Variety of locations that BTP officers worked.  BTP control room.  Police information room.  Dealing with Football hooliganism.  Refreshments and catering for BTP officers.  Steam trains and steam engines operating on the underground.  Describes changes that occurred in British Transport.

Female BTP officers.  Describes his female officers.  Incident of a man masturbating in public.  Counter terrorism patrols 1970s in light of the IRA activity.  Suspected bomb factory in Brixton.  High profile searching of passengers entering the tube stations.  Suspected package incident.

1975 Morgate train disaster.  Describes the accident.  Train went through the buffers.  Describes the scene.  Serious train accident and lack of preparation to prepare with the event.  Problems gaining access to the scene.  Decomposition of the bodies.  Cutting through the wreckage.  Limited ability to help.  Death toll.  Counseling after the event.  Considers how officers dealt with the incident.  Post-traumatic issues.  Union and police federation.  Social life of police officers.  British Rail Social Club.  Headquarters bar.  Limited social areas provided for officers.  Summer outing.  Friendships with police officers.  Describes close relationship with colleagues.

Kings Cross Fire.  Describes colleagues who were involved in the incident.  Aldgate and Clapham incident.  Involvement in dealing with the Clapham incident.  Describes the Clapham accident between two trains due to signal failures.  Describes the scene.  Dealing with the incident.  Exposure to the scene.  Considers the importance of the police uniform as a protective barrier with the public and traumatic incidents.

Explains the issues dealing with paperwork.  Changes in the force.  Request for a civilian job.  Working on a film set as a PC.  ‘Battle of Britain’ film.  Film set on train station.  Recalls an owner was boarded into his shop accidentally.  Aldwich film set.  Considers his luck being posted to a film set.

1979 Jubilee Line opening by Prince Charles.  On duty at Victoria Station.  Recalls talking with Prince Charles.  State visits to London by the Queen.

Writing Articles in the Police journal.

Brixton Riots.  Describes his role as a PC to respond to a riot at Brixton Tube station.  Recalls the wreckage from the rioting.  Poll Tax riots and working on duty at Charing Cross station.  Protection of South Africa House.  Describes limitations to protective clothing for police officers when responding to violent public demonstrations.  Vulnerability of officers.

Football Hooliganism and trip to Glasgow, Scotland to retrieve hooligans.  Describes issues working as PCs in Scotland under different rules and regulations.  Describes the arrival of fans and attitude of Scottish officers towards public at the events.  First Aid courses.

Miner’s dispute.  Describes being sent as a plain clothed officer with a colleague and sent to Doncaster.  Limited back up.  Describes their escort’s limited knowledge of the area in Yorkshire and leaving them to find their way to the railway station.  Recalls the poor conditions and limited work.  Meeting the South Yorkshire police force.

Involvement in the World Cup series matches.  Euro 1996 sent to Ashford to deal with expected trouble arriving from the ferries.  Limited equipment to tackle any trouble.  Describes the bizarre role their were sent to perform.

Reflections on his career.  Reflections on the CID.  Problems working alongside Uniform officers.  Plain clothed attitudes.  Retirement in 2000.  Continued relationship with the police.  Reunions and continued friendships with old colleagues.  Considers his luck during his career avoiding any physical assaults during active duty.  Reflects on dealing with the train disasters.  Limited equipment to respond to large scale accidents on London Transport.


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