Attempted robbery on Hookwood dairy

1987,: Saturday 10 January 1630: Firearms Support Team and Regional Crime Squad joint operation following intelligence indicating an armed robbery might occur at a milk depot at Horley. Three men were seen approaching and as they were about to rob the depot manager they were arrested by the Firearms Support Team. One of the men was armed with a sawn off shotgun and all three were sentenced to lengthy prison sentences.191

Hookwood robbery: (Firearms Support Team names removed at their request). The Firearms Support Team was deployed at a dairy depot in Hookwood, near Horley, with the Regional crime Squad conducting surveillance of targets driving from London to rob the dairy.

Two offenders carrying sawn off shotgun's were about to approach the cash office, when they were challenged by the Firearms Support Team. They were arrested with no shots fired and the getaway driver was also detained by the Firearms Support Team outside the premises.

A highly successful operation which was subsequently used as an example of good practice for other forces and a training video was produced. The Firearms Support Team was awarded Chief Constable's Commendations for "Professionalism and brave conduct".

Dave Cording: 1987 Firearms Support Team operation at the dairy. George Dobson and I were part of the ambush plan. We went on standby at the Russ Hill Hotel until the strike when we were called forward to collect those arrested which we did.

Team member: Information was received that a team were going to rob the dairy to steal the day's takings, Saturday being the day on which the milkmen collected cash from customers.

The yard was accessed by a driveway. An ambush was laid to arrest the robbers within the yard and simultaneously arrest the driver waiting in the car on the road. Without disclosing the tactics, the ambush enabled us to challenge the offenders without them ever actually seeing a police officer and thus having nothing to shoot at.

My recollection is that there were three arrested but this may be wrong. It was one of the first very successful deployments of weapons using Aimpoint red dot sights which allowed the user to keep both eyes open but maintain accurate shot placement. In this job I was using one mounted on a Ruger Mini 14 and was asked to report on its deployment afterwards.

Firearms Support Team in training

The Firearms Support Team demand a high level of fitness.

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191 Annual Report 1987.


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