1966, 11 March: Mods and Rockers youth gangs were at their height. Not many people owned their own cars and a day out on Box Hill by train was still a family outing. It ... more
1966, 28 July: The Times: A man was charged with the murder of Mrs Patricia Woolard aged twenty eight a schoolteacher, who was found stabbed to death on a train at Gatwick on the 3 September last year. Detective Chief Superintendent John Place was SIO.
1966, 28 July: CS Gas used for the first time in the UK at a siege at Tranquil Dale, ... more
1966, 19 December: PC 900 William Wood was fatally injured when hit a lorry after he had pulled out of Star Lane, Ash on his police motorcycle and rode north on Shawfield Road. PC Jim Allen attended the scene. PC Wood was born 19 April 1939 and was appointed as a Constable on the 29 April 1964.
Chris Atkins: PC Wood was buried in Ash churchyard. I recall that he joined Surrey from his home in the north, and was riding a motorcycle on duty when a car driven by a woman pulled out from a side road across his path.
1966: Alan Fletcher: "Criminals Invade Surrey": "More than half of Surrey's criminal threats will soon come from outside the County, which is a problem never before faced by a Police Force." This was a small part of a report relating to the unfair funding given to the County from the Government, due to its close proximity to London in 2009. So what if anything has changed.
I joined the "Constabulary" in 1966 and the same threat was in existence in those days. Most will remember those days no doubt and will have "nicked" a few of those villains in their time. I think we all took pride in the work that we did and were proud to be in "the Job". It was a fact that "villains" coming into Surrey took a big risk as they were likely to be stopped by the Traffic lads and the divisional "Crime Cars".
There has always been "cross border" and long distance villains coming looking for rich pickings in this county, many from London and that was why the various Regional Crime Squads and Burglary Squads were formed. The Surrey Burglary Squad used to start their working days in London.
In the "WF" division we had armed robbers and burglars from Liverpool, London, Hampshire, and Berkshire. The Brighton and Southampton antique knockers. No doubt they frequented other divisions also. I retired in 1992 after doing my last five years as "Local Intelligence Officer (LIO) at WF" and I attended monthly cross border LIO meetings held at various nicks. Details of current local crimes, the perpetrators and vehicles involved etc would be circulated at shift parades.
When I was at Caterham I remember Reg bringing in the guy who shot him. He was not going to let go of him.
1966: Norman Ratcliffe: In 1966 I was at Peaslake and Reg was skipper at Shere. On Christmas Days Reg used to let the village PCs have the day off. He worked. It was agreed that if anything happened in our village we would have to turn out and deal with it. Reg spent the day in the car visiting each police house in turn.
Reigate Police Stations: Reigate must have had more police stations over the years than anywhere else in Surrey. Before the current station ... more
1966: Reigate: My career as a Police Constable started on nights at Reigate in ... more
1966: Probationer Training: Dave Vigar: When I joined the regular force in 1966, probationer training consisted of three residential courses ... more
1966: Reigate Division: Ronald Juleff, Chief Superintendent at Reigate 'B' Division: The first Chief Superintendent at Reigate 'B' Division was Basil West, his deputy being ... more
1966, 16 April: The 'Auntie Bea Murder in Reading': Don Sapsford: Officers from Surrey loaned to Reading CID, along with other adjacent county forces, to fingerprint every male adult in the town. We were allocated areas where we knocked on every house and asked how many men lived there and also how many men they thought lived in the adjacent houses. The culprit was eventually caught running out of the back door of a house being visited.
Daily Express, April 19 1966:
One hundred detectives were knocking on doors and calling at shops and factories. Whenever a man answered he was asked for his fingerprints. Nineteen days ago 74 year old Mrs Beatrice Cox was murdered in her terrace house in Reading after being suffocated by pillows and stabbed. Assistance came from five county police forces in an enquiry led by Detective Superintendent Gulver of New Scotland Yard.
1966: Mervyn Saunders: The Pistol Team was in high demand in the search for Harry Roberts, the ex Special Forces man who shot the three occupants of a Metropolitan Police "Q" car at Shepherds Bush and who was still in prison in 2009.
1967: Lionel Covey: Mrs Pretty stabbed her husband at their home in Chiddingfold on Christmas Day whilst rowing over who was going to carve the turkey, he was fatally killed.
Richard Bond: My memory is not as good as it should be, but I have always thought that the above murder was in Haslemere.
John Bartlett: I was early turn, I think with Lionel Covey. I have a feeling that DS Barney Mosely came on duty to deal. I think we were asked to make ourselves available as we had transport (Traffic).
Mervyn Saunders: I was on Traffic motorcycle patrol that Christmas Day and called in at Godalmimg police station to read the Day Book, etc and she was in the cells. The station officer told me that she had been slaving away in the kitchen preparing the Christmas dinner and her husband was watching Norman Wisdom in a variety show on TV. Norman was in great form and the husband was roaring with laughter. Mrs. Pretty was stressed out with all the work she was doing and kept telling him to stop laughing. He ignored her and she "lost it" and went in to the living room and stuck him with a carving knife. Norman had a lot to answer for that Christmas!
1967: Mike Juniper: Arriving on the Dog Section: I joined the section in early January 1967 and was given Peter. Tom Yeourt told me to get him out from the block. I had never seen a Doberman in my life before and was rather disappointed because I thought he was a Boxer!
However he was quite happy to let me enter the kennel but would not let me out again. I thought that this was a test and if I wanted to get on the section I would have to get him on the lead and bring him out. Once out he tried to bite Roy Cartwright, who I have to say I was frightened of, so I had a bit of a traumatic first day.
I trained weekly with Tom Yeourt until an advanced course Timber Wood ran in July 1967 with Dick Daborn, Tony Ames from Beds, a handler from Norfolk. I was promoted in May 1982 and retired in May 1993. I remained as a civilian finally retiring in May 2006. I should write a book on Peter the Doberman as we had so many amusing incidents during our time together.
1967, January: Colin Boyles: I went to Horsley Section, part of Guildford Division in November 1966 when still a probationer. In January 1967 Lambretta 200cc scooters were introduced to rural areas to allow officers to patrol a wider area. I went on a course with Rowley Bowers and an instructor whose name escapes me. The object of the scooters was to allow the officer to ride to a location on his beat, park up and patrol the area.
I also used mine to stop the local youths on their scooters. It was also a very good for public relations with the youngsters although Jacko as Superintendent at Guilford would not allow me to put a fox tail on the aerial! I later graduated to a Triumph 500cc speed twin with windshield, leg guards and a radio on the back which altogether restricted the top speed to about 60mph. (author: The village PC at Coldharbour Geoff Langley had a scooter and possibly Ken Pugh on Box Hill.)
1967, about: Richard Bond: Paul Palmer and I were patrolling the A3 North in the Granada Estate, I think it was a Saturday night. We arrested a driver at about 11.45 pm for an alcohol related offence and took him to Walton-on-Thames Police Station. As we were finishing, there was a commotion in the front office and we were told that a prisoner had escaped.
The locals knew that he lived in a flat in a big house near the railway station. So we arrived there behind a number of Walton officers. I parked the Granada right outside the house and waited for something to happen, there was a copse on the right, opposite the house.
After a few minutes I saw a man come out of the copse waving an axe, he was coming straight for my door, and looked like a wild man so Paul and I both exited the car from the nearside door, Paul is over six foot and I am not small but I swear that we went out that door together.
The man ran past us, through the open front door of the house, between other officers and up two flights of stairs and locked himself in a room at the front of the house. It all went quiet for a few minutes. There were four or five of us standing on the landing. Then the axe head came through the door, it was just like Jack Nicholson in the film 'The Shining' "Here's Johnny!" He hit the door several times, splintering it, the axe handle and his hand were coming right through the door, but I noticed that nobody tried to grab it but it was all a bit too frenzied.
Then he opened the door and ran down the stairs. There was a bedroom on each side of the room he was in so we all dived into them. He ran out of the front door, round the side of the house, aiming blows at an old car parked behind the house and went down the embankment onto the London/Portsmouth railway line which was completely in darkness. I think he was captured the next day.
1967, 1 March: Six month helicopter project working with the Army Air Corps. PS 325 John House was the observer for Farnham. ... more
1967, 12-13 August: Horace and Fred Stevens in Ash Vale: The Stevens brothers with Terence Green went to the Prospect Club in Ash, broke in and stole a quantity of wine and cigarettes, a fruit machine and cash totalling £739. On the night of the 24/25 August the three men stole a Jaguar from Seale and broke into four clubs stealing more wine spirits and cigarettes. Whilst loading loot on Ash Ranges to take to a local licensee they were disturbed by police and made off.
They stole a car in Aldershot and abandoned it in Baughurst stealing another before breaking into a garage in Chicklade, Wiltshire. They drove to Torquay where they stole another car leaving it at Cullompton from where another car was taken, changing the plates driving to Llangattock where they were stopped by a police motorcyclist.
Fred threw the motor cycle in the hedge and the policeman after it. The vehicle was driven off and abandoned in Staunton on Wye in Herefordshire stealing another which was abandoned back in Farnborough returning to Ash. They slept rough in an outhouse at Gold Farm owned by Green's mother.
The arrest of Fred Stevens in
1969; note the Army pilot using
the dog van radio.
A raid was mounted on the farm supported by the Army Air Corps. Green was arrested without trouble, but Fred and Horace ran off swimming the Basingstoke canal. It must be remembered that these men were very big and very strong. They were cornered in a field of Shawfield Road by a number of police dogs and after a very violent struggle they were arrested.
Fred was sentenced to seven years, Horace, five years and Green five years. The local sergeant Lionel Attwood was involved with the arrests.
1967: Dorking Traffic Department: Bob Bartlett: In 1967 I was a motorcyclist at Dorking with Bob Heaton and Pip Kerridge as the sergeants. ... more
1967: Fitting of seat belts to the front seats of passenger cars become compulsory but not the wearing, that didn't come until 1983! Traffic cars had been fitted with simple diagonal belts before this. These early belts were not user friendly having no inertia reel device.
1967: The light air crash at Chertsey (a plane from Fairoaks Chobham) PC Peter Cole
1967, September: Guildford Town: Steve Buss: My very first night out on patrol as a probationer after a two week parent constable attachment to Jim Goddard, I remember ... more
1967, 4 November: a passenger jet bound for Heathrow airport crashed into the southern slopes of Blackdown Hill, near to Fernhurst village, resulting in the tragic death of all ... more
1967: Personal radios: Graham Ingram: I believe that the force had a variety of radios in use before the two-piece Pye Pocketphone became standard issue in the late 1960s. ... more
1968: Tony Forward: There were to be thirteen murders committed in Surrey between the arrival of Mr Peter Matthews as chief constable on 1st April 1968 and the end of that year.
1968, January: Bob Bartlett: The first train from Dorking in the morning was checked whenever possible to see who was on it and if they were "strangers ". The arrest of a burglar was unusual and turned out to be something of a coup. We would walk through the train and speak with anyone who looked out of place or who we were unhappy with.
During one such walk through PC Peter Harrison and I spoke with a man sitting in a carriage on his own and looking most unlike an early morning commuter. After a brief few questions he was searched and we found a number of expensive Dunhill lighters, which he had stolen after a smash and grab during the night from Wakefield's Jewellers in Horsham.
The suspect was arrested and in his possession was found a silver matchbox cover with an inscription engraved on it. This was eventually traced to having been stolen during a burglary at the home of a peer of the realm who lived in a large house at exclusive Sunningdale.
This man had committed a large number of burglaries at high-class properties in the Wentworth, Sunningdale areas, and as a result there were large numbers of officers keeping observation for over a lengthy period in very cold conditions to try and find the person responsible. The owner of the property disturbed the burglar whilst committing the burglary and during a scuffle, he stabbed the Lord. Probably resulted in some green ink from the chief!
Steve Buss: With other officers I kept observations at Egham for four nights 27th Jan 1968 - 30th Jan on Wentworth golf club because of burglaries in the Wentworth estate. It was freezing cold at the time and I can remember sitting in the blue van with icicles forming from the condensation on the roof.
1968, April: The Times 1 May: A man's body was found after a fire at Hookwood. Police are trying to trace a Morris Traveller missing from the house.
Bob Scott: Hookwood House fire murder: Incident Room was run by DS Nick Carter and I had the privilege of being posted outside the house in Hookwood (October House it was called) to secure it while all the HQ troops were being mustered and driving to the scene.
My memory of the circumstances was that it turned out to be a case of a male prostitute being picked up in Brighton by the victim, being taken home to not so sunny Hookwood and never actually, as they say, making it through the night. I was at that stage in my service given the task of standing at a front gate which was about all I was capable of.
John Thorne: I attended this incident with Detective Chief Superintendent Place MBE. I seem to recall the house had been set on fire. I believe some of the silverware stolen from the house was recovered from antiques shops in Brighton.
Colin Skilton: The Hookwood murder was at the house on the edge of the roundabout just along from the car garage. I was sent to a house fire where the Brigade was having a great time with their axes pulling down the ceilings to get the hoses in.
A man's body was covered up on the front lawn. He was a retired naval officer. His wife had gone away for a few days, so he went out for the evening and brought a man named Imre Gathy home for the night. After killing the house owner for whatever reason, he left the scene and went home to Brighton.
After a day or so, seeing there were no reports in the papers, he returned and set fire to the scene. During the time of the investigation it was suggested he travelled to Horley and stood across the road from the police station wanting to give himself up. He gave himself up through a national paper which I believe was the Daily Mirror.
1968, about: Bob Bartlett: Another arrest is worth a tale because it sets out the difficulties motor cyclists' had being solo and needing to use the radio on the move. On Traffic ... more
1968, about: Lionel Covey: The nurse from Milford Chest Hospital who killed his wife on the second attempt on Arran's Hill.
Dave O'Connell: A nurse who worked at The Milford Hospital near Godalming was reported as having been found dead at the foot of her stairs. Her husband named Roberts was also a nurse. He claimed that his wife had fallen down the stairs and as a result had died.
He was not wrong but what he omitted to say was the fact that she had remained at the foot of the stairs for days before he did anything. He had stepped over her on a number of occasions as she lay there. In fact she had not died immediately and had medical attention or even first aid been administered she would most likely have survived.
Les Haines was the detective inspector at Godalming at the time and he was determined to bring Roberts to book. If I remember correctly Roberts was having a liaison with another woman. Les built up a very convincing case but he was not supported by Detective Superintendent Walter Simmons. He was however supported by his divisional superintendent Maurice Jackman and those who knew Mr. Jackman know that once he got a bee in his bonnet he was hard to dislodge and very verbal in his support.
In those days there was no Crown Prosecuting Service. The force used the services of two solicitors firms McNamara Ryan of Chertsey and Wontners of the Strand, London. I believe that Godalming used the services of Wontners. After a conference between the legal advisers and the police in the person of Maurice Jackman and Les Haines, it was decided to charge Roberts with manslaughter. He was found guilty after a trial and received a prison sentence.
This was a ground breaking case and certainly a feather in the cap of Les Haines. Les left the force before completing his pensionable service.
1968: Les Martin: I was a probationer, on nights in Camberley Police Station, which in those days was the building next to the railway level crossing at the top of the High Street. About 1 am a bottle came smashing through the window showering us all with glass. Sergeant Stan Plummer immediately looked at me, the young probationer, and said, "Go get him son".
I grabbed my helmet and ran out of the door and spotted a young lad staggering down the High Street, a bit the worse for wear. I ran after him and caught up with him and struggled with him in a shop doorway. This was of course in the days before the Criminal Damage Act, and there was no power of arrest under the Malicious Damage Act.
Whilst I was struggling with him the "Plod, Plod," of footsteps came nearer and there loomed the presence of Stan Plummer. He slowly and deliberately reached into his breast pocket and took out his pocket book. With pen poised he said to the lad, "That was a silly thing to do young man. What is your name?" "Bollocks" was the slurred reply. Stan's pen wrote meticulously in his book and he slowly looked up and said, "And your Christian name, Mr Bollocks?"
1968, May: Tony Forward: At 120, St Michaels Road, Sheerwater, Gerald Arthur Phipps stabbed his wife to death during an argument and gave himself up to police. Detective Sergeant Forward dealt with the case as all senior CID officers were in other parts of the county assisting with other murders. Phipps appeared as Surrey Assizes, Kingston and was sentenced to life imprisonment.
1967-68: Pip Kerridge: Surrey Constabulary Special Escort Group and Display Team was founded as a result of a Home Office directive to all forces with responsibility for an airport because of visiting VIPs when security demanded rescheduling landings in relation to international threats.
Chief Superintendent Basil West was officer in charge Traffic and he designated Chief Inspector Dennis Hughes and me to form the team. We went to Kenley Aerodrome to study the Metropolitan Police team. Then we used Caterham Barracks for display practice before eventually moving to the sports ground at HQ. Motor cyclists were drawn from the three traffic centres.
The security procedure for VIP cars was carried out around Gatwick Airport. We were given a set time to get from Gatwick to Home Farm at Windsor. We only managed to get within a minute of the deadline. I stayed with the team until I went into the Control Room. Then I think Bob Heaton took over. I was informed by Superintendent West that I was qualified because I was quote "full of bullshit". How's that for a qualification.
1968: Burpham Traffic Department: Andy Hasted PC 422: In 1968 I was a happy divisional motorcyclist at Redhill riding the Triumph 500cc speed twin. Unit ... more
1968, 2 November: Leatherhead Theatre Murder: The News of the World: "Sudden death struck at a theatre yesterday and turned the spotlight on a real-life whodunit ... more
1968, 26 April: Murder of Roy Tuthill, Dorking: detected by DNA 2001: Brian Field: On the 26h April 1 Roy aged fourteen left for school in Kingston from his home in Wheelwright's ... more
1968, 24 June: Lionel Covey: About 1.40pm the naked body of a woman was found on apiece of waste ground near the WRAC Depot at Guildford. The woman believed to ... more
1960s, late: Q Cars: Ron Underwood: To my knowledge there were no official vehicles bearing this title. There were night cars on patrol performing this function. A certain ACC directed that the night crew would be supplemented by a detective constable but this proved to be no value and fell into disuse.
1968, September: Serious flooding across Surrey: The summer of 1968 had been exceptionally wet and at Hambledon over sixteen inches of rain was recorded, ... more
1969: Operations Room: Brian Taylor: It was during the early part of 1969, whilst stationed at Godalming that a number of officers were selected to train as operators in the force Control Room.
There was one selected from Guildford, Woking, Farnham and Godalming to be called on in the event of a staff crisis through sickness. In other words those that resided close to Mount Browne and could be called upon with an hour's notice.
Initially we started a four-week course to see if we could cope with events. At the end of this period I was asked if I could stay a further month because of staff shortages and sickness. Eventually this was extended until further notice.
During this time trial vehicle checks were carried between to New Scotland Yard (Central Vehicle Index) by means of a miniature tape recorder using a screen format and then transmitted over an analogue telephone live to the Central Vehicle Index. Previously vehicle checks were carried by telephone calls between the Control Room and New Scotland Yard.
Surrey was one of the forces chosen to pilot this trial. This was in reality the forerunner of the Police National Computer. After my initial four-week 1969 trial I remained in the Control Room until February 1986 as a police officer, and continued until August 1997 with force communications as a civilian.
1969: Crime figures: There were six hundred and seventy two crimes including one hundred and thirty seven burglaries committed in Surrey Constabulary area for the fortnight ending February 15th. Nearly seven hundred emergency calls were made, eighty two connected with crime from which eighteen arrests were made. From 4pm the previous Wednesday until 6.15 am the next, there were twenty nine road accidents in the county, including a double fatality at Great Bookham. Five of the twenty nine accidents resulted in causalities. Last month four hundred and fifty one people were killed or injured on the county's roads, thirty seven fewer than in December. One person was killed on the road in the county every three days.
1968-1969: Runtley Wood Lane Murder: Ken Hewitt: I was on solo patrol in one of the first Panda cars in Guildford Division. This was I think in about 1968/9. My patrol area ... more
1968-1969: David O'Connell: On my first morning back at Woking after leaving the Ives murder enquiry I was alone in the CID office when Acting Sergeant John Sait came in and said there had been a domestic on the Sheerwater Estate and it was possible the wife was dead. I attended the scene having asked that Detective Inspector Harman be informed and asked to attend the scene. I also asked for a scenes of crime officer and photographer to be summoned. It was a Saturday morning.
I arrived at the house to find a traffic unit in attendance. One PC was in the house with an ambulance crew protecting the scene another was in the garden not doing much to be frank. The husband was standing in the garden still holding a knife in his hand.
I asked him what had happened and he said he thought he had killed his wife. In the time honoured fashion I cautioned him and asked him if the knife in his hand was the one he had used to attack his wife and he replied it was. I asked him to hand me the knife which he did. At that time I had butterflies in my stomach, not many officers get to take a murder weapon off a defendant in their service.
In fairness he posed me no threat but I did watch his movements very carefully. The defendant was very open and co-operative. He had a very deep wound running about seven inches along his arm that was caused when his wife had tried to ward off his blows and deflected the knife onto his arm. It was all so senseless.
The defendant had wanted to go fishing and was preparing his fishing tackle in the kitchen. His wife had wanted him to take her to the Soviet Exhibition in London. She was persistent in her demand and an argument ensued. The defendant had been using his fishing knife and had it in his hand. He struck out at his wife with the knife a struggle commenced during which the wife was wounded several times unfortunately one of the knife wounds pierced her heart.
He fully admitted his responsibility and pleaded guilty to murder. In today's atmosphere a plea to manslaughter would probably have been accepted. The murder charge was based on the repeated strikes with the knife.
Detective Sergeant Forward arrived on the scene believe it or not he was en-route to the police station to tell me about the developments in the Ives case as he lived in Woking at the time. He became the lead officer in the enquiry all other senior officers being fully committed on serious crime enquiries. The file was put together by him and me as the whole matter was really quite straight forward.
1969, 6 March: Bob Bartlett: It was the night before the police ball to be held at the Dorking Halls. As a Criminal Investigation Department learner I was called from my bed to go to the scene of a stabbing in a smart house in the village of Westcott about two miles to the west of Dorking.
It appeared that a middle aged woman, a Mrs Ayliffe, had been in bed with her future son in law and he had stabbed her with a pair of scissors. Mrs Ayliffe did not die but it hurt! By the time I arrived, the injured lady was in Redhill Hospital and her son-in-law was in the cells at Dorking police station.
Having searched the house with other officers I went back to the police station, I think with a pair of scissors secured within a forensic evidence bag. It was not my case as it was too serious and I was too junior.
However I was to work on the case with a senior detective constable under the supervision of a sergeant. I wrote a very lengthy statement taken during an interview with the suspect undertaken by DC Pete Standen. We sat in the main CID office on the first floor of the police station and spent many hours in completing this essential task.
The suspect did not deny what he had done. I also helped interview Miss Ayliffe, the bride to be, and again searched the Ayliff's house much more thoroughly with DS Hopkins the scene of crime sergeant from HQ. It took the remainder of the night and all the next day to complete the initial enquiry, which included remanding the suspect in custody before the magistrates in the court in Dorking High Street.
When it was all over it was off to the police ball in the Dorking Halls along with several other very tired officers. Why did he do it? It is difficult to remember exactly but it was something to do with the mother in law threatening to tell her daughter what they had been up to. She pushed her luck too far and lost both her boy friend and her daughter together with her reputation.
Another unusual case at this time was where the villain left his identification behind. Chalcraft was a professional burglar but that did not make him a successful one. I attended a burglary at a house named Cleavers in Woodlands Drive, Weare Street, near Capel in November 1969. The villain had smashed his way in through a rear window of a nice detached house.
When the owner returned from shopping and discovered the burglary the police were called and I was sent to the scene I am sure with Peter Harrison. On searching the house for evidence, and to make certain that the burglar was not still there, I found a wallet at the point of entry. As the criminal had climbed in through the window he had forced it appeared that the wallet had fallen from a pocket; it had the name Arthur Chalcraft a known burglar from Redhill.
He had stolen jewellery and clocks to the value of £1,500.
Chalcraft had also committed a burglary in Holmwood and Kingswood. Police waited near his home and arrested him as he retuned from his afternoon of criminal marauding. He pleaded guilty, not surprisingly, and was sentenced to five years in prison.
1969: Peter Mitchell: I was promoted from Haslemere to sergeant at the old London Road, Redhill (fire station) station in 1969 (Colin Brake Superintendent) and was a patrol sergeant until moved to section sergeant at Warlingham. Promoted to inspector 1972 and worked the new Reigate station when Nigel Dungate, my sadly missed buddy, was DI. I left for HQ in 1974. Remember Ron Juleff with affection.
From Ron Juleff: Other Sergeants at Redhill were Alan Tugwell, George (Jammy) Jenkins, ex Reigate Borough, Bill Spencer Eric Pole and Wally Garrigan (CID). At Reigate were Ron "Selley" Press, and Frank (Tosh) Hailer, crime prevention.
1969, 5 January 1969: A Boeing 727 airliner owned by Ariana Afghan Airlines crashed at Fernhill, Horley, on approach to Gatwick Airport. As it descended it hit ... more
1969, 30 June: Indecent assault on two boys by the River Mole, Stepping Stones - wanted Ronald Eric Lewis, OIC DC Standen. Found and sentenced to five years and five years concurrent. DS Reed (C9) commended by the Chief Constable for arresting Lewis.
1969: Bob Bartlett: Ken Pugh was the Box Hill village constable who saved me one Sunday afternoon from being badly hurt. I was working Dorking and in the morning had arrested some men for stealing spare parts from Fords at Dagenham and on the divisional crime car I think with Bert Kingswood, I was sent to a christening where someone had been threatened with a gun.
We stopped the suspect car and I took the car keys out with the announcement that the vehicle was going to be searched. To say the least this was resented and I was soon pinioned with arms behind my back and someone else was coming at me with an axe. It was Ken Pugh who had arrived who then disarmed the man with the axe.
It took over twenty officers to sort it all out with a Metropolitan Police crew (come to collect earlier prisoners and only too pleased to join in) demonstrating how to put a very large man into the back seat of a car who did not want to get in. Ken Pugh remembered in 2006 that a report setting out what by any terms was a brave act was sent in seeking some form of commendation, but Ken cannot remember it being acknowledged.
The story has it that one of the stabilising factors from this dangerous ruckus was the arrival of PC Harry Sales also on a motorbike. He had been on a firearm enquiry at Coldharbour and had seized a shotgun. Being a Sunday afternoon he thought he could put it across his back and nip down the hill to the police station. His arrival complete with shotgun caused the cry of "the police have guns" to go up!
1969, September: Bob Bartlett: On a Sunday afternoon at 1335: A25 close to Tranquil Dale where a number of people had been killed in a road accident.
One car a BMC 1100 had four Italians in the vehicle and they were all killed. In the second vehicle a mother of three, travelling with her husband and children had also died. A total of four killed and five seriously injured it was like a battlefield and was dealt with by PC Bob Bartlett.
Two things were unusual about this accident beyond its scale. Firstly a coach load of Special Constables was passing by on route to a parade at HQ and formed the best-policed emergency diversion route in the history of policing. DS Nick Carter, possibly the finest detective sergeant of his generation, from Dorking came to the scene and volunteered to go to the mortuary at Redhill to deal with all the bodies post-mortem, Coroner, etc.
The 1100 was travelling towards Dorking and a Ford Zodiac in the opposite direction. For some reason the 1100 went out of control, and moved into the path of the Ford. There had been a number of similar accidents involving the 1100s and so the ball and socket joint from the front wheel was sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory for careful analyses.
There was no evidence of alcohol, and the only defect found on the vehicle would not have affected the steering. Witnesses were able to say that no other vehicle was involved, and that the road was dry and visibility good. A verdict of accidental death was returned at the inquest in December.
1969, September: PC D Shepherd, DI L Phillips, DS G Smith and PC G Queen awarded the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct in recognition of their courage in the ... more
1969, October: Outbreak of rabies in Camberley resulting in restriction orders for dogs. Large-scale shoots were organised to carry out the destruction of foxes and other wildlife that might pose a threat. Fortunately the rabies outbreak was short-lived.
Cliff Blackford: I was duty sergeant at Camberley when the report came through and I was immediately told to go to the local cinema and inform everyone about the problem. The film was stopped and I went onto the stage with a microphone and warned people that if their pets were found wandering and not on a lead they were liable to be destroyed.
Alan Bridgeman: October 1969 saw the outbreak of a rabies scare at Camberley. We had received alarming instruction at Training Centre as to the potential effects of rabies; apparently it might drive everyone as daft as our PTC instructor – a chilling thought. I was driven to Camberley, and served notices on form A2 to infected houses.
How we worked out which houses were infected I do not know, but was still green enough to believe that our senior officers were in touch with the Almighty, and would know everything. I did grow out of that belief fairly quickly!
I think it was the following day, a sweep was organised across Barossa Common, which adjoins Old Dean Estate, by a number of shooters, organised by the local council and assisted by members of the police to destroy all wildlife found, which was mainly foxes and squirrels.
I, complete with radio, and two other officers were stationed on a high point to make sure that the line of about thirty to forty people kept reasonable straight. Also we had to make sure that members of the public were kept off the common. I can't remember how long it went on for but a number of wildlife were shot and as we found out later, completely unnecessary as the dog in question was found not to have rabies after all.
1969, 25 October: PC 776 Philip Morgan aged twenty four was killed in a motorcycle accident Bull Hill Leatherhead. Phil was born 23 July 1945 and appointed as a constable on the16 December 1964. Phil Morgan was killed soon after he married. He was a traffic motorcyclist and a Landrover hit him. Phil was such a happy easygoing young man who worked in that most difficult of jobs in the mortuary at Horley after the Gatwick plane crash.
Alan Bridgeman: I recall that that PC Morgan had just finished a motorcycle course, so was keen as mustard to ride using his newly acquired skills. He was sitting on the forecourt of the petrol station that used to be just at the foot of Bull Hill, when he suddenly rocketed away, no doubt having spotted a "good check" go by; he'd gone less than 200 yards, when he hit an oncoming Landrover on the brow of the hill.
1969: Control Room: Ann Carter: I remember Peter Barbrooke from my days in the old control room at Mount Browne. In those days it was above the main entrance hall and ... more
1960s, late: (Date may be 1964 ish) winter: Murder in Vale Farm Road Woking: Mervyn Saunders: I saw the photos of this at H.Q. The house was unoccupied during the day (people at work I guess) and a gas leak filled it with gas, then the fridge clicked on and the ... more
1969: David O'Connell: The case of a foreign gentleman found dead at Byfleet in around 1969 with his hands bound behind his back. A full scale murder enquiry was put in hand. Something did not ring true despite the state of the man when he was found.
Don Fordham as part of the investigation team spent hours experimenting with a piece of rope until he was able to demonstrate that it was possible to tie your hands behind your back unaided. I'm sorry to say I can not recall the cause of death, I think it might have been gunshot.
As a result of Don's efforts the enquiry soon established that the deceased was carrying a large amount of life insurance and debt. The poor man had decided to fake his own death so that relatives could claim the insurance money. Once again the case was solved by the efforts of a junior member of the investigating team. Don received a commendation for his efforts.
Charles Mitchell: The incident was at Walton. As I recall it concerned a Portuguese man from Manila in the Philippines who had one leg and was found with his hands tied behind his back and blown up with a hand grenade.
A detective superintendent from the Yard took the lead and I remember Don Woodhams, Arthur Phelan and me being part of the team. One day we sat round the table looking at photographs of the scene and we were asked for ideas. Detective Sergeant Bernie Maxted from the Reading Crime Squad said
"Looking at the photographs and from the man's background I would say that he was a Catholic. If you look at the photographs you can see that the knees of the trousers are heavily stained. It is my theory that this was suicide. The man being a Roman Catholic it was against his religion to commit suicide so he prayed for some time and in the event that things went wrong he was on ground across from the hospital. I believe that we will find it was for insurance money."
In the end this was the final story but not without many incidents in between. We spent ages trying to tie our hands behind our back in the manner it was done and finally someone cracked it. The grenade was made with weed killer and sugar and set off by the victim.
It was thought at the start that it was a London based murder which may have been the reason for a detective superintendent from Scotland Yard taking charge. One day after Arthur Phelan and I had been going around the country trying to find where the plastic cable that had been used to tie the man up had been made we returned to base to be told that the detective superintendent had booked seats for us at the local cinema and we were all to attend.
It seemed a bit strange but we soon learned it was a John Wayne film and it was all about hand grenades. So was life on Mars in those days.
1970: Bob Bartlett: In 1967 I was earning £765 a year. This grew to the vast sum of £900 in 1970 just before I was promoted sergeant. In real terms that meant about £60 a month in the pay cheque, which almost doubled to £100 when I became a sergeant.
Chief Constables of Surrey's Interest in Police Dogs - 1947 to 1986 1970 Stan Wood: The chief constable responsible for forming the Surrey Constabulary Police Dog Section ... more
1970, 1 January: Enoch Powell came to the Dorking Halls. This was not long after his infamous "Rivers of Blood" speech that had made him a pariah to so many. It was a meeting of the Dorking Conservatives and was to be countered by the Surrey Anti-Apartheid Movement.
There was a picket outside the Dorking Halls at 2 pm, followed by a march through the town and a meeting at the Pethick Lawrence House in South Street, the headquarters of the local Labour Party. There were quite a number of demonstrators, about one hundred, and supposedly twice as many police from across the county. There was a great deal of noise but no significant problems.
1970: Demonstration: Schermuly factory at Newdigate producers of CS gas being used in Northern Ireland: Christ Atkins: A proposed march I think on a Saturday afternoon, to the factory to protest because the CS gas was made there. I was chief Inspector at Dorking and John Irvin the Superintendent and I went to the factory knowing there was unlikely to be any major problems because of the security fences on site.
The gateway was like a modern prison entrance with an "airlock" system admitting cars which were trapped between the two gates whilst checks were done. Either side of the airlock were eight feet wire mesh fences. However what seemed to be excellent security was let down when we walked the perimeter to find that the eight foot fencing lasted just fifty feet or so either side of the gate with the remaining perimeter protected by two wire strands.
The intelligence being received was that the march would be used for cover by a group intent on getting hold of CS gas to use against the Metropolitan Police at a demonstration (possibly at the US embassy). The information was that they would break away from the main march, go around the rear of the factory and enter storage sheds.
I think this was the first occasion we used the new personal radios in a co-ordinated fashion into a control room, set up inside the factory. Officers with the march and on the perimeter were linked into the control room, allowing deployment should trouble arise – then ground breaking stuff!
Exactly as predicted officers reported that a group had left the man march, and we (I was in the control room with Inspector John Buxton) sent officers to find and intercept them, using the brand new radios. Ray Goody and his team found the intruders and all ended well. The poor level of security was reported to the authorities as they held explosives on site to make marine rockets and flares.
1970: Brian Taylor: It was police officers who accepted temporary postings in the Control Room. Initially it was to balance the full time staff working nights, ... more
1970s: Inter-agency partnership: Phil Dunford: Early in my career, we had a report one day of smoke issuing from the old Co-op building opposite Farnham Police Station. Everyone turned out to attend, including Chief Superintendent Frank Trussler. After a while a fireman appeared at an upper window and shouted down to another at the foot of the ladder, "Doubtful origin".
That fireman walked past the waiting police officers to the cab of the fire engine where he passed on the message to the man inside, "Doubtful origin". He got on the radio to HF control at Reigate, to report the "Fire at Farnham Co-Op is of doubtful origin". HF called HJ; HJ called FY (Farnham); Farnham called the town beat man on the personal radio, "From HF, fire is of doubtful origin". The officer walked the length of the fire engine to his chief superintendent and finally reported, "Sir, from HF, the fire is doubtful origin."
The message arrived, intact and accurate. I only wish I knew how long it had taken!
1970, September-3 December: WPCs on their way to Gatwick Airport for searching duty due to the recent high-jacking, in the mini police pandas. All passengers were body searched by police officers before their flights.
In the photo alongside are (Left to right): WPC 52 Gwen Crossan (Cheshire), WPC 41 Marilyn Parsons (Fisher), WPC 1 Sue Matthews (Julian).
From the left: WPCs Jenny Ball (?) standing, Sue Baker, Geraldine Winnett (Davies), Mary Dobson (Amos), (standing) W/Inspector Jenny Futter, Helen Spence (Ewence), Sue Matthews (Julian), Marilyn Parsons (Fisher), Jenny Fry?
A list of the senior officers appeared the Police Review, 16 October, (1970), click here.
1970, 18 September: Body found in the boot of a car at Haslemere – murdered in Aldershot. The car was then driven off with the body still hidden in the boot, to be discovered when Michael John Beard aged thirty two gave himself up at Haslemere – Officer in Case Detective Chief Inspector Ian McGregor.
David O'Connell: Late one evening in early 1970 the duty station officer at Haslemere police station was locking up when a man entered the office. I do not remember the name of the officer but he was a man of some experience.
The visitor asked the officer if he could help him as he had had a disagreement with his wife. The officer replied to the effect, "Don't worry as we all have those". The man asked the officer if he would come to the car to which the officer replied "Just let me finish locking up and I will come out."
After he had locked up the police station he accompanied the man to his car expecting to have to speak soothing words to an angry wife and be off home to his bed. He was somewhat surprised when the man opened the boot of his car and he saw the body of a woman in the car. In the time honoured fashion the officer said, "What have we here then".
It seems that the man had killed his wife earlier that evening, placed her body in the car and driven to Hindhead with the intention of driving over the edge of the Devils Punch Bowl. He had been unable to do this and instead drove to Haslemere Police Station. The senior officer on the case was Detective Chief Inspector Iain McGregor.
There then followed a rather unseemly battle between the Deputy Chief Constable of Surrey Chris Rowe and his counterpart from Hampshire over who should deal with the matter and claim the detection. Iain McGregor was caught in the crossfire. Legal advice was sought and it decided that the evidence indicated that the murder had occurred in Hampshire even though the body ended up in Surrey so Hampshire police should deal.
As the man had been charged with having committed the murder in the County of Surrey he appeared before the Magistrates at Guildford where the case of murder in the County of Surrey was dismissed. He was immediately arrested by Hampshire officers who took the case to trial.
I recall wondering at the time if the legal team for the defendant could have pleaded 'Autfois Acquit' when their client came to trial and had the case against him dismissed. Justice was served in the event.
1970: The manpower situation had been exacerbated by the reduction in the working week from forty two to forty hours in 1970 and the cancellation during 1976 of rest day working. In 1968 the Force numbered 1,167 and dealt with seventeen thousand crimes a year.
Ten years later the comparable figures were 1,430 and 26,303. Relief began in 1978 with significant salary increases awarded by the Lord Edmund-Davies Committee. The following year there was a net increase in police personnel and in his annual report for 1980 the chief constable was able to say: "… following a steady build up throughout 1980, the Force reached its authorised establishment in December."
1970: The Equal Pay Act brings full pay to women officers:18 The Equal Pay Act required that women police officers should receive the same pay as their male colleagues. Previously they had received 90% of the men's pay. A crisis in police manpower forced the authorities to concede an interim pay increase, but this was not enough to stem the wastage of experienced officers, or to attract recruits in the numbers required.
1970, 24 December: Red Riding Hood: Janet Stevens was murdered in Pirbright over Christmas 1970. The range areas were the scene of a great deal of police activity ... more
18 http://www.polfed.org/aboutus/69DD9AB47F534348AD5D1415843163AA.asp [19 January 2010].