1976, Friday 9 January: An armed robbery occurred at a garage in Woking. The attendant was badly assaulted by a masked man carrying a Luger type pistol who had threatened to shoot him. The sum of £120 was stolen from the garage till.

On Monday 12 January the same man entered a public house in Woking carrying a weapon seriously assaulting the licensee and his wife before fleeing. PCs Bailey and Redpath were on patrol in Goldsworth Road unaware of the incident when they saw a man dash into a shop doorway about a hundred yards from the pub.

The officers followed the man and PC Redpath found him in the garden. As PC Bailey arrived with a torch he saw that the man was pointing a gun at the police shouting "Get back or I will use the gun" before making his escape.

Enquiries locally by detectives visiting known criminals found the suspect and he was arrested and charged appearing at the Old Bailey in May when he was sentenced to seven years. Judge King Hamilton said "PCs Bailey and Redpath behaved in accordance with the highest traditions of the police where courage has no boundaries".

Both men received Chief Constable's commendations as did the two detectives Detective Constables Vernon Attwell and Terry Butcher.

1976: Simon Nelson: When I joined Surrey Constabulary at the end of August 1976 I was held back from training school as there was no vacancy for me. I then ... more

1976: PC 1053 Simon Nelson : Application and Recruitment to Surrey Constabulary: I was born in East Africa in 1957, where my father had decided to take up farming ... more

1976, 3 March: The Times: Surrey Police said they were unable to act against the owner of a lion that jumped on a woman in a leopard skin coat as she made her way to work in Woking. The incident occurred in Chertsey Road at 9.30 am after the owner had been playing the lion he kept in a bus. Bob Bartlett in the middle 1970s in Cranleigh High Street: I saw a lion or leopard; I cannot now remember which, in a parked car and it caused a stir! At that time we could do nothing but not too long after legislation was passed covering private individuals and the ownership of wild animals.

1976, April: Murder of baby Oliver Jackson by Pauline Tidy and body left in freezer at Cranleigh: John Hurst/Bob Bartlett: The body was found by Police Sergeant ... more

1976, 29 April: The Times: Sergeant James Findlay of Surrey Police who chased a gunman who had shot a colleague dead and wounded another received the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct from Lord Hamilton of Dalzell the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey.

1976: the year of the long hot summer: The downside, however, were thousands of calls to the fire brigade and police reporting fires on commons throughout the county. ... more

1976: An analysis in 1976 of serious burglaries in the county revealed that less than ten per cent of the offenders lived in Surrey coming mostly from the Metropolitan Police District. As a result the Special Crime Patrol was reorganised in October 1977 and in the first eight months of 1978 there was a dramatic decrease in break-ins of twenty five per cent. See the entry for 1979.

WPC Penny Arch with PC Dunford

1976: A youth with a shotgun was arrested by WPC Penny Arch late one night in Farnham. When on patrol she heard the sound of breaking glass and saw a youth running away. He turned and threatened to shoot her and then ran off with the officer in pursuit. Joined by PC Dunford they disarmed and arrested the youth. Both were commended by the Chief Constable. (Off Beat (July 1976)).

1970s: Brian Muchmore: There was also a case on Sandy Hills probably in the 70s, when I think it was a mother killed ... more

1970s, early: Alan Fletcher: There was an incident in the early 1970s I believe when two local lads from Tongham, "Pixie" Rule and his younger brother burgled the Tongham newsagents. The elderly owner disturbed them and "Pixie" bludgeoned him and he died within some months of the incident, possibly a heart attack. I think the charge was reduced to manslaughter at Court. On his release some few years later he himself suffered bad health and died.

Graham Ingram: I have some knowledge of this as I was the beat bobby at Tongham, and was involved in the enquiry on the day that the body of Mr Collis, the local newsagent, was found under a counter in his little shop. I also attended the CCC for the trial.

Phil Dunford: I was on the area car, Foxtrot 1, with PC 1098 Chris Williamson, when we attended the newsagents that morning. Not sure who the call came from, but I think it was early customers concerned to find shop closed but signs of disturbance.

We found the owner huddled under a counter or worktop, badly beaten. I remember being struck by how one eye was looking up at us from the mess that was once a face. I believe he died about a year later bringing in discussion about surviving 'a year and a day' and thus which offence could be charged. I had the pleasure many years later of bringing one of the brothers to court for drink driving which he confidently defended himself – and lost.

1976-77: Charlie Frost: Murder of a young boy in the car park of Skeet and Jeffs, Builders Merchants, Church Street Woking. The boy was about fourteen and was murdered by another youth Stephen Handoll who took the change from the deceased's pocket. He killed him by hitting him in the head with a metal clip taken from one of the firm's lorries.

Peter May: I was at Woking at the time and remember Stephen Handoll who was a complete wreck from a totally dysfunctional family. The tragedy, if I remember correctly, was that the week before he had been at court for stealing a bike and was given bail. The deceased lad was a Pakistani boy who was just taking a short-cut home through the builder's yard.

Keith Rogers: I was working as a DC with several others; Jock McLachlan was the Detective Sergeant and Bill Pirie, Alan Hammond as far as I recall.

Ann Carter: The boy was in fact called Roy Selvaduri and was the son of the consultant radiologist at St. Peter's Hospital. He was returning via the small footbridge over the main Woking relief road having been to a youth club I believe. Stephen Patrick Handoll actually caved his head in with a pallet mover which was in the yard. I seem to remember that Selvaduri was an extremely bright lad and Handoll basically picked an argument with him as he tried to pass him on the narrow walkway.

Surrey CID, 1976

Surrey CID 1976

I had dealing with Handoll from his secondary school days. He had been a pupil at Sheerwater School and Mr Osborne the head at the time had a meeting with me regarding this lad. He lived on Sheerwater with his father and sister, not sure what happened to the mother.

Stephen came to my notice when he cut the heads off all the goldfish in the school aquarium during half term and left them laid out in a row for all the kids to find when the came back. He was sent to another special needs school at Chobham, where he did similar to the school pet rabbits! Ironically I gave Handoll a warning for theft at the school three years previously and he was a real 'bad lot' then.

Ken Halls: Although I had no direct dealings with the murder enquiry, I do remember it was an Asian who was murdered. I also had earlier contact with Stephen Handoll when Anne Carter asked me to attend Sheerwater School with her to give him a verbal warning because he had cut off the heads of the goldfish in the school pond after one of the teachers had upset him. He showed no remorse. Anne and I both agreed that when he got older he would end up murdering someone if they upset him and he did.

1976, about: Murder of an old lady who died in a large house in Chiddingfold: Derek Cordery: Her body was found at the seat of the fire I believe on floor in the bedroom ... more

1976: Special Crime Patrol Unit (Burglary Squad): Marilyn Parsons: I was also on the Burglary Squad when it was first formed in 1976. Detective Chief Inspector Taffy ... more

New control room taken in 1980 with Ray Elliot in the chair

New control room taken in 1980
with Ray Elliot in the chair

1976: A new era in force communications opened on 6 December 1976 with a purpose built operations room at headquarters. It replaced the old control room, which had been in existence since 1949. Police communications was at the front of the computer revolution ensuring a transformation in making data immediately available to control room staff and officers on patrol.

1976-77: Allan Hurlow: I was tasked along with PC John Bonney to sit in the area car for ten hours in the middle of Brooklands/Vickers runway at Weybridge. The reason for this was that Idi Amin the President of Uganda at the time threatened to come to England to visit the Queen. This was obviously taken very seriously by the powers that be. So there we were, half way down the runway to try and stop his aircraft from landing. It apparently worked as we never saw a single aircraft all day!

1977, January: Guildford: Armed Deployment at Newlands Corner: Simon Nelson: I had just joined "C" Section at Guildford shortly after leaving Training School. My parent constable was PC 795 Nicholas Charles Overton who was an authorised firearms officer. ... more

1977, May: Tony Forward: HM Queen's Silver Jubilee Review of the Police Forces of the UK: Peter Matthews, Surrey's Chief Constable, was President of ACPO. The Home Office wanted to invite the Queen to review representatives from each of the UK police forces. They chose Bramshill Police College. Mr Matthews insisted it should be at the Metropolitan Police Training Centre at Hendon. He won and put himself in charge of the arrangements.

HM The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh spent the day there. There were Surrey officers with their wives as spectators although PC 230 Buss, holder of the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct, stationed at Godstone Traffic Centre, represented the Surrey Constabulary in the line to be inspected. Mr Matthews picked his own team of Surrey officers to plan and execute the operations of the day.

As well as the parade and inspection, there was a presentation to the Queen by Mr Matthews, lunch and a tour of an exhibition in the gymnasium of police vehicles, equipment and technology showing the advances made in the 25 years of her reign. The centre piece of the exhibition was a 1952 Wolsey police car with all its equipment and a 1977 motorway Range Rover.

Mr Matthews was made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order by the Queen and all the members of his organising team received the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal. They were DCC Chris Rowe, Supt Tony Grey, Supt Vincent McFadden, the Chief Constable's secretary, and Supt Tony Forward. We also had the job of escorting members of the cabinet who attended.

1977, 14 July: PC 16 Robert George Cross aged 33 died in a road accident on the Churt to Hindhead Road. He was born on the 18 August 1944 joining the Surrey Constabulary on the 4 March 1971. PC Cross was found to be dead on arrival at the Cambridge Military Hospital, Aldershot. Superintendent Forward, who was later to organise the funeral, identified Robert Cross' body. His funeral was held in Hindhead parish church as he had lived in the Hindhead police house. There is a plaque in Hindhead Parish church placed by colleagues on the Haslemere Section.

1977: Daniels Murder, Guildford.

1977: The work of the police increased dramatically when the Surrey Fire Brigade took industrial action. Police motorcyclists escorted military fire crews to blazes and officers were the first to attend many fires to assess the need for additional resources. Extra telephone equipment was installed in the operations room and solo manned police cars equipped with fire extinguishers were deployed.

Tony Forward: I was Superintendent at Godalming and used my own car on duty. All police cars were issued with fire extinguishers and I had a large one on the back seat of my car. Green Goddess fire engines were taken out of mothballs and manned by members of the TA and the Ghurkhas and escorted to incidents by police motor cyclists.

I did not need to use my fire extinguisher but I found myself on the scene of a fatal accident near Chiddingfold in the dark. A car had missed a bend and gone up a tree and the single occupant was killed outright. A Green Goddess arrived and its headlights were useful to the ambulance crew and me in extricating the body. The crew did not even get out of the vehicle.

Colin Campbell: Army Ghurkhas were stationed at various locations, such as TA Centres, with Bedford 'Green Goddess' fire fighting vehicles. Traffic personnel (mainly motorcyclists) worked long hours on standby at these centres, tasked with escorting the vehicles in the event a fire. The Ghurkhas were very generous with their hot chilli dishes which they often prepared whilst on standby. If you are ever tempted, watch out - very, very hot, but nevertheless a tasteful experience!

Mark Clark: I was at Sandfield Terrace in Guildford, which became almost home because this is where having used the place during the ambulance strikes; we escorted the Green Goddesses from during two of the Fire Brigade strikes. The Ghurkhas were billeted there and I don't think they have got rid of the curry aroma yet!

Allan Hurlow: I was in uniform and my beat was Chertsey. I was ordered to assist the army with their Green Goddesses at the Army Cadet Hall in Drill Hall Road Chertsey. We were then ordered to base ourselves at The Royal Holloway Sanatorium Virginia Water. The soldiers put their gear in a large room and got their cookers going giving me the hottest curry washed down with a can of Skoll lager. I was there just the one night and from what I can remember we didn't have a call. My job was to direct the soldiers to locations within our area.

1977, July: Colorado beetle found in rye seed on a farm in the east of the county and it became an "infected place".

1977, October: An analysis in 1976 of serious burglaries in the county revealed that less than 10 per cent of the offenders did not live in Surrey but came mostly from the Metropolitan Police District. As a result the Special Crime Patrol was reorganised in October 1977 and in the first eight months of 1978 there was a dramatic decrease in break-ins of 25 per cent.

Paul Vady injured on duty

1978, 5 October 2200: PC Paul Cady when on patrol saw several acts of dangerous and reckless driving by the driver of a tractor unit.

Several vehicles were rammed including two police vehicles and at one stage the vehicle crossed the central reservation of a dual carriageway and drove against the flow of traffic. The vehicle drove at up to seventy miles an hour was forced to stop in traffic enabling PC Cady to run to the vehicle, open the door and struggle with the driver.

The vehicle was deliberately driven in to a stationary car crushing the officer's leg causing severe damage. The unit again drove off at high speed eventually crashing into a shopping precinct when the driver was arrested. In October 1980 PC Cady was awarded the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct following comments from the trial judge that included: I think you behaved with great courage. You are deserving of the highest commendation."1

1978, October: PC 1124 Paul Cady awarded the Queens's Commendation for Brave Conduct for trying to stop a lorry which was being driven dangerously and had already been involved in several accidents. He suffered severe injuries to his left leg

Brian Whicher: I understand that he was on foot patrol in Camberley when he saw the traction unit of a lorry being driven dangerously. He jumped onto the footplate in an effort to cause the vehicle to stop, but the driver deliberately drove into a parked car crushing Paul's leg.

Phil Dunford: Paul was trying to stop the driver of a lorry tractor unit in Camberley. He climbed up to attempt to open the door or window. The driver intentionally drove it up against other vehicles or buildings to throw off the officer, whose leg was severely damaged, leaving him permanently disabled.

1978, October: A Mercedes was stolen from a car show room at Woking, followed by other thefts of high powered and valuable cars within the county. A member of the stolen vehicle investigation team located records in vehicle licensing offices forged Custom's notes relating to stolen vehicles across the southern counties. A team of Surrey officers continued the enquiry resulting in sixty eight arrests and thirty four vehicles worth £5000, 000 being recovered. Along the way numerous other offences were uncovered.2

PCs John Young and John Humphries highly commended; Sergeant John Hebdon and PC Malcolm Sutton receive Royal Humane Society Testimonial

Back row: PC Young, PC Kendal,
PS Hebdon; Front: PC Humphries
and PC Sutton.

1978: PCs John Young and John Humphries were highly commended for their courage in apprehending a man armed with a rifle following a burglary. They attended the scene of a burglary and after John Humphries and police dog Dylan had been tracking for some time found a man hiding in the undergrowth armed with a rifle. The officers tackled and restrained the man without regard to their own safety. About £100,000 worth of property was recovered.3

1978: Sergeant John Hebdon and PC Malcolm Sutton of Woking were awarded the Royal Humane Society Testimonial on Parchment for their actions at West Byfleet station. They heard a woman screaming and discovered she had come in contact with the live rail. They managed to remove her and conveyed her to hospital.4

1978, about: A3 Wisley: Malcolm Sutton: A robbery involving Securicor cash in transit van occurred when the villains shot out the tyres of the ... more

1978: Edmund-Davies Report leads to large pay increase:5 The Edmund-Davies Report announced a substantial increase in police pay, which included an unspecified amount to take account of the absence of the right to strike. The report also proposed linking future pay rises to an index of all non-manual workers. The Government accepted the findings, but insisted on staging the pay increases over two years.

Special Escort and Display Team 1978

1978: Special Escort and Display Team: Dick Johnson: This picture was taken in 1978 at the Force family day. It is a picture of the newly reformed Special Escort and Display Team.

From the front leading back to the left is Ted Sherwood (Sergeant 340), Tony Buddle (PC 6), Dick Johnson (PC 680) Jof Clements (PC 1092) Bob (Trooper) Cooper, not sure about the back rider.

Leading back to the right behind Ted is Mel Huckle (PC 446), I think Dave Stone, Les (Bones) Gillingham, and I am not sure about the last two.

Bikes were 800cc BMWs. We practiced for weeks at Wisley aerodrome and if I remember correctly Tony Forward gave an excellent commentary over the PA system.

1978, 3 August: The Times: A football supporter aged fifteen was remanded on bail at Dorking charged with attempted murder of a boy aged fourteen.

1978, August: Murder of a young boy Martin Pell at Leatherhead in 1979. ... more

1979: Special Crime Patrol been in place two years and during the year arrested 263 people and recovered £307,000 worth of property. In the last two years there have been 671 arrests by the patrol and a total of £653,647 worth of property recovered.6

1979, 1 January: Operation Midas: Thirty one people were arrested in the Metropolitan Police District, Surrey and Hampshire and antiques, jewellery and silverware valued at £200,000 was recovered. Eighteen people were charged with 169 offences of blackmail, burglary, arson, handling stolen property and conspiracy.7

1979, 24 January: Two men were disturbed breaking into a house at Ashtead and made off on foot. One was arrested nearby and the other by the Metropolitan Police in Epsom when the suspect crossed common land into the town and was spotted by a police helicopter.8

1979, 29 January: Two homosexuals living in a house divided into flats in Redhill had an argument and one was stabbed several times causing his death. Neighbours called the police and the offender was later arrested in London and sentenced to life in prison for murder.9

1979, 30 January: A forty five year old lady working in her home in Oxted was attacked by an intruder and subjected to a violent sexual assault. The woman under threats of death suggested they move to another bedroom. On the way she threw a vacuum cleaner at the offender then locked herself in the bedroom whereupon the offender made off. This offence was not detected.10

1979, between January and April: Numerous offences of burglary were committed in the north of the county in good class flats. The offender always posed as a painter and wore white overalls. On one occasion a Sunbeam Rapier was seen and the number taken. The Special Crime Patrol found the vehicle in Brentford and followed and the driver arrested in Richmond on suspicion of burglary. Housebreaking implements were found in the vehicle which matched those from the burglaries under investigation. The man was sentenced to imprisonment.11

oil tanker containing 24,000 litres of mixed oils on its side

1979, 1 March: 24,000 litres of mixed oils in a tanker in Farnham Town Centre.

1979, 10 March: Police Support Unit assistance to Hampshire to police a National Front march and a counter demonstration by the "Anti Nazi league".12

1979, 20 April: Armed robbery outside Lloyds Bank Great Bookham when a Securicor guard was threatened with a revolver. A second man approached with a sawn off shotgun. The money, £16,100 was handed over and the robbers made off in a stolen vehicle. This was not detected.13

1979, 24 April: Two vehicles were seen parked close to woodland at Hascombe. Three shots were heard and two men carrying rifles were seen to run from the woods. The men got into two separate cars and drove off. The registered owner of one of the cars was reported missing that evening and a search found his body, bound and covered with bracken.

The Richards brothers arrested in France; Jason on the right

The Jason brothers arrested
in France

Enquiries led detectives to believe that the offenders had left the country and Interpol was alerted. A launch was traced off the coast of France and the two people, brothers, on board were arrested along with rifles and ammunition. The men were extradited and charged with murder.14

newspaper cutting covering the man found in woods

1979, April: Dog Sergeant Keith Simmonds with Mandy found the body of a man covered with bracken. He had been tied up with a distinctive tape and rope, gagged with his tie, and shot in the back of the head three times at close range.

The victim was 58 year old John George an engineer employed by the Water Authority. Three men were seen to go into a copse off the A281 at Bramley, shots were heard and two men came out. Detective Chief Superintendent Ron Underwood took charge and soon the killing was linked to a robbery in Kent.

Two men were being sought and registration numbers were available from witnesses. One of the vehicles was found in Guernsey and the two wanted men had arrived there on the ferry from Weymouth. A boat stolen from Guernsey was seen in Brittany and the two wanted men were arrested.

The reasons behind the killing and the elaborate trussing of the body confused the police at the time and presumably to this day. Trial in 1980 led to findings of guilt but no explanation for the murder.

1979, 17 May: A burglary and rape was reported at a house in Camberley. A thirty year old woman was sleeping with two children woke to find a man brandishing a breadknife with a stocking mask standing by the bed. He raped the woman and then apologised for what he had done before he left. He was not traced.15

1979, 26 May: HM The Queen visited Guildford for the 60th anniversary of the Women's Royal Army Corps Association. There were a total of fourteen royal visits to the county.16

1979, 20 July: at 0930 two men knocked at the door of a house in Peaslake. The door was opened by an Arab servant and the callers showed what was said to be a warrant card and asked to see the man's passport.

The servant returned with his passport to be confronted by a sawn off shotgun. A scuffle followed and the two men ran off one receiving injuries to his head and neck. This man was arrested close by and sent to the Central Criminal Court.17

PC Bagley and his dog Jasper receiving the RSPCA Award

PC Bagley and his dog Jasper
receiving the RSPCA award

1979, 25 July 0900: PC Michael Bagley and police dog Jasper saw a wanted man at Chobham. He was called upon to stop but made off and Jasper was released. The man hid behind a bush and as Pc Bagley approached he stepped out pointing a small black pistol at the officer and opened fire as the dog closed in as the man turned to run off. He fired a second shot as the dog stopped him. It was later found that this was a starting pistol. The RSPCA awarded Jasper their "Animal Plaque of Courage".18

1979, 8 August: A known burglar from Deptford was under surveillance by the Special Crime Patrol when with an associate they were followed to Dorking where they broke into an antique shop. The men were arrested and a £1,000 worth of property recovered.19

1979, 22 August: Two student nurses, a male and female, ended a long standing relationship. An argument followed in the girl's room and she was pushed onto the bed and stabbed six times, including twice in the throat. On hearing her scream other students forced their way into the room and stopped the attack. The man then slashed his writs and throat but survived to appear before the court.20

1979, 26 August: A meeting organised in Windsor Great Park to protest at an injunction barring pop festivals in the park led to the deployment of police from Thames Valley and Surrey. This prevented any disturbances.21

1979, 16 September: An eighteen year old girl who had been drinking in a pub in Walton left with two men she knew. The offender got into the car with the woman and her friends uninvited and demanded a lift home. One of the youths left at his home and the offender put a knife to the neck of the driver forcing him to drive to isolated woodland. He took the keys and threatened the driver not to move, forcing the girl into the wood where he raped her. One man was charged.22

1979, since September: A man claiming to be a council official called at the homes of elderly people and obtained cheques from them by deception. The offender was identified by fingerprints and arrested and admitted crimes across the south east. He was charged.23

1979 5 October: Regional Crime Squad, Walton office: Three men were arrested in Crawley in possession of oxyacetylene equipment, oxygen and propane gas bottles. The men were responsible for burglaries over some time when safes were attacked across Surrey, Sussex, Kent, and Metropolitan Police District. The men were charged.24

1979, 11 October: Armed robbery at 1045 on the A3 six miles north of Guildford when £377,000 in cash was stolen ... more

1979, 26 October: A housewife was found dead in her home in Walton. The deceased had disturbed a man breaking into her house and she was attacked on the head with heavy kitchen equipment. A man was charged with murder.

Don Sapsford: The offender was a builder who had recently worked at the house.

1979, 29 October: Two youths were seen acting suspiciously in Epsom and as the Metropolitan Police were unable to deal Surrey responded and arrested them. They were responsible for a number of burglaries in Surrey and the Metropolitan Police District. A third person was later arrested and it was established they were responsible for a large number of burglaries involving property valued at £15,000. They were also responsible for the theft of vehicles, one of which was involved in an armed robbery. £6,000 of property was recovered.26

1979, 1 November: A joint command post exercise was held with Surrey and Sussex Police at Gatwick Airport.27

1979, 1 November: Three men burst into a house at Walton and threatened the occupants, and stealing gold and jewellery valued at £43,000. The Special crime Patrol investigated the offence and eventually nine men from London were arrested and six charged with this offence. Property valued at £16,000 was recovered.28

1979, 5 November: A man was arrested for burglary in Dorking where it was later established he was wanted in London and that he had committed fifty two burglaries in six months with a value of £20,000 of which six thousand pounds was recovered.29

1979, 16 November: At 2315 in Farnham a man took a taxi to take him from a pub to the railways station where he pulled the driver from the cab, punched and kicked him, getting into the taxi and driving off. Driving to the local hospital he set fire to the vehicle before making off. It was destroyed. A man appeared before the Central Criminal Court charged with a number of offences including robbery.30

1979, 18 December: Sergeant Keith Thomson and PC Andrew Simkins discovered a serious fire in Walnut Tree Close, Guildford. They broke into the house and heard groaning from a man about twelve feet into the room. Both officers made repeated attempts to cross the room and rescue the man but on each occasion were beaten back by the intense heat and smoke.

Suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation, singing to the eyebrows, hair and clothing they were eventually forced to retreat. A body of a 70 year old man was later recovered. Both officers were awarded certificates by The Society for the Protection of Life from Fire.31

Highly Commended: Inspector D Jones: For courage and determination when arresting a mentally disturbed man armed with a knife.

Detective Chief Inspector GT Powell: For outstanding leadership of the Special Crime Patrol.

PS Fred Booker: Courage and determination when arresting a man armed with a pistol. Also awarded £50 by the judge at the Central Criminal Court

1979: Edmund-Davies is implemented in full: Following the Conservative victory in the General Election; the new Government immediately implemented the Edmund-Davies award in full, and pledged itself to honouring the pay standards in the future.

1979: There were five murders and sixty two robberies and nine hundred and eighty malicious wounding offences a 22% increase in crimes of violence.32

1979: Denis Turner: I recall being tasked with several other handlers, all of us armed, to a flat in Camberley. There had been information that IRA suspects were living in the flat and we were deployed to assist Division with checking the property. I can vividly recall two armed handlers at the back of the property and two others at the front. I was one of the two at the front and I stood one side of the door with my dog and a drawn revolver and the other handler, (who I cannot recall but may have been Nev. Cast) standing opposite me in the same manner.

The inspector knocked on the door. The door opened and the inspector stepped inside and the door was closed leaving two very bewildered handlers and dogs at the front of the property. Needless to say, all was well, fortunately, as it turned out to be a false alarm – but the story is a true one.

I was to meet the inspector much later on when he was superintendent at Reigate. We had been called to a suspect explosive incident and the whole of Reigate High Street was cordoned off. We were at the cordon when along came the superintendent on the opposite side of the road. Without a sideways glance he continued on past us and disappeared. To this day I am not sure whether or not he knew what was going on or whether he had just nipped out to get his paper.

1979: Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act: A total of 3,862 persons were detained in Great Britain under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Acts 1974 and 1976 between 29 November 1974 and 28 February 1979. The numbers of persons detained in each police force area in England and Wales are given in the following table.

In addition, 831 people were detained under the legislation in Scotland, in respect of 58 of whom extension of detention were granted. In no case was an application for an extension of detention refused. Such information from the first quarter of 1979 will in future be published quarterly in a Home Office statistical bulletin.

Police Force Area Number of
Extensions of
detention granted
South Yorkshire 1 0
Staffordshire 0 0
Suffolk 8 0
Surrey 92 25
Sussex 37 0
Thames Valley 17 5

1979: Annual Report:

  • Box Hill with its magnetic appeal to young motorcyclists is still a cause for concern. Throughout the year it has been necessary to maintain a police presence on a Sunday afternoon at the Burford Bridge. The gatherers from across the south east were responsible for thefts, assault, damage and public order offences and during the year a number of arrests were made.
  • A study made in 1976 revealed that for every Surrey based criminal arrested for burglary thirteen were resident elsewhere, and nine of that thirteen lived in the Metropolitan Police District; that is only those that were identified. Surrey experienced the second highest number of burglaries where more than a £1,000 was stolen.   back to 1976
  • During the year the officers of the Special Crime Patrol Unit (Burglary Squad) arrested 263 people and recovered property to the value of £307,000.
  • During the year 25,491 criminal offences were recorded an increase of 3% over 1978 this included a 22% increase in crimes of violence. Cycle theft was up 14%, theft from unattended vehicles up 9% shop lifting up 38% and criminal damage 18%. There was a 1% decrease in burglaries, other burglaries 8% down and thefts of motor vehicles down 18% Detection rate remained fairly stable at 47%.
  • Injury Accident Statistics:
Year: 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 +/-
Fatal: 95 85 114 80 81 +1%
Serious: 867 921 1047 1125 1035 -8%
Slight: 2737 2985 3091 3011 3009 no change
Total: 3699 3991 4252 4216 4125 -2%

1979: Murder of John George on Farnham Division.

Accident at Puttenham involving a tanker full of heating oil.

1979: Road Traffic Accident at Puttenham involving a tanker full of heating oil.

1979: Firearms Support Team Course: Firearms Support Team and Firearms training in Surrey Constabulary ... more

1979-1980: John Milner: It must have been 1979 or 1980 when I was detective inspector at Reigate and we had a real problem with a family living on one of the estates at Redhill. We knew they were up to no good in a big way and were probably responsible for half of the crime on the division but couldn't get near them. We had tried observations, waiting for them to come home after just having done a job, nicking them off the street, talking to the neighbours and everything else we could think of but were still no further forward.

The real problem was that they had a vicious Alsatian which was left loose in the garden and every time we went there, with or without warrant, as soon as the latch on the gate was lifted it would bound down the path barking and snarling and frightened everyone away so we could never get into the house. Eventually I thought I should speak to the professionals to see what help was available so I had a chat with Fred Booker.

His words were along the lines of, "That's not a problem. When do you want to go in?" Having agreed an early morning time and date, and armed with a warrant, we arrived at the address and prepared to enter. Fred got out of his van which was well down the road and we met near the house.

I said, naively, "Where's your dog?" Fred, not being noted for long explanations said, "I don't need him". I said, "Haven't you got one of those long poles with a noose at the end? He replied, "I don't need that either". What he had with him was one of those padded sleeves dog handlers used for training purposes, which he put on and assured me that he was ready.

Fred went to the gate, clicked the latch open, went in and closed the gate behind him. At the click of the latch the barking started and the huge black Alsatian came bounding down the path snarling and slavering. Fred raised his sleeved arm up to about eye level and the dog leapt up to take it.

For just a split second before the dog could take the arm it was in the air with its undercarriage fully exposed. With immaculate timing Fred delivered the dog a fierce kick in the balls. This had an amazing effect. I have had several dogs as family pets over the years but I have never seen one cross its legs, but I swear this one did. It slunk away on its front paws dragging its rear quarters behind it and never gave us any more trouble.

Having completed the search with sufficient success to bring down the crime rate for the next few months I saw Fred and thanked him for helping out. Fred took it as all being in a days work and wondered why we hadn't called on him before which I did when I thought about it.

1970s, late: Lakeside Club fire: Mo Clark: There I was about 2 am into a night shift with PC 1120 Paul Webb driving. The call came in that staff at the Lakeside Club wanted to ... more

1970-80s Brian Muchmore: Murder/manslaughter of an Irish Traveller from the site at Junction Bridge, Farnham by the owner of the polly tunnels on the old adjacent hop fields. Culprit caught tinkers damaging his tunnels, warned them off with a loaded 410 shotgun. They tried to take it off him and one got shot.

Derek Dearmer: I was stationed at Farnham at the time and remember the Irish families had moved onto the site causing most of the other travellers to move off because they expected them to cause trouble. I thought that they were going onto the farm land to steal vegetables from the fields and the farmer had warned them if they came again he would shoot them.

They did and he did. I was one of several officers who had to go to the site when the news of his death at Royal Surrey County Hospital was notified to next of kin. I am not sure but think Des Brotherton was the Sergeant to impart the news. We were there mob handed with dogs in tow as trouble was expected when the news was broken but there was little problem.

1970,s late-early 1980s: Bill Bethell: The case of the Major who held up Sainsbury's in High Street, Guildford getting peoples' attention by discharging his shotgun into the ceiling. He grabbed the money and made his escape on a pushbike that he had brought with him and found abandoned in Sydenham Road, I believe.

I remember DC Bob Ball with the bike and a blackboard outside Sainsbury's on the hot summer's days. Have you seen this bike? It turned out to be very special and the Major was identified through it. I believe he pleaded guilty. Vince McFadden was Officer in Case so must have been sometime in the late seventies/early eighties.

1979, September: Murder at Red House Lane, just off Ashley Road, Walton-on-Thames: Denis Turner: I think a woman was murdered and also ... more

1979, about: The Shalford murder: Bill Bethell: An old lady was found strangled in her house in Station Road, Shalford. Enquiries turned up a security guard who ... more

1980: Robbery increased by 24% over the previous year to reach the highest figure ever recorded in Surrey.33

1980: There were nineteen royal visits to the county during the year.34

1980: Drug Squad:

  • The arrest of an operating theatre technician for the theft on five occasions of sedative drugs used to treat patients prior to an operation. He had replaced the drugs with water.
  • A report from hospital staff that patients were failing to respond to treatment with heroin and that some pharmacy stock had been replaced with dextrose powder. A number of containers had been interfered with and drugs at a street value of £5000 had been stolen. Two men were arrested. The heroin or diamorphine hydrochloride was used to treat terminally ill cancer patients.
  • A Camberley man was arrested for supplying heroin imported from Thailand.
  • A man was arrested for obtaining 1100 tablets of methadone by deception and selling them at £5 each.
  • The arrest of five chemist shop burglars responsible for offences in Surrey and Hampshire with £5,000 of Class A drugs were recovered.35

1980: Chief Constable Highly Commended PC John Cork for exceptional bravery and devotion to duty in detaining a man who had attacked him with a knife.

1980, January: Special Crime Patrol Unit: Several burglaries were committed in the Leatherhead the offender using cars stolen from the Wandsworth area. Enquiries led to a suspect in Tooting who was watched and seen to drive a stolen car but it was not possible to follow him. Police watched his home address until he returned with proceeds of crime and was arrested admitting fifteen burglaries in the county.36

Evicting hippies from Wonersh

Evicting hippies from Wonersh.

1980: Police Support Unit deployments: Two on aid to neighbouring forces and within the county – a Right to Work march from London to Brighton, assistance at an eviction, a missing person search.37

1980: Regional Crime Squad: based at Walton Thames No 6 District office of eighteen officers, fourteen from Surrey, arrested 112 people of whom 57 were charged and £531,449 of property recovered.38

1980: Police Dog Section: Answered 3,737 calls making 490 arrests, finding 234 articles, 20 missing people and 50 drug finds. The establishment is an inspector, five sergeants and 22 constables. The constables were on division with three of the sergeants also on divisional strength the inspector and two of the sergeants are responsible for the dog training school.39

1980, 1 January: During the early hours a young woman arrived home at Caterham where she found her mother on the front path. She had just stabbed her husband and was later arrested for murder.40

1980, 1 February: Location not given. At 2000 a man and his daughter were at home when they disturbed a burglar. The occupier gave chase and struggled with the burglar in the drive to the house. The householder was stabbed a number of times on his face and body but recovered from his wounds. The crime was undetected.42

1980, February and March: Special Crime Patrol Unit: Following a number of night time burglaries in houses and shops in Reigate the Unit kept observation on a local suspect who was seen to pick up an associate in a stolen car. It was difficult for mobile surveillance late into the night and so observation was kept on the suspect's home address. The men returned at 0520 and were arrested in possession of crystal and glassware valued at £7,000 from a Reigate burglary. The resulting enquiry led to the arrest of thirteen people for burglary, theft, deception, forgery, handling and conspiracy to defraud. Property valued at £12,000 was recovered.43

Officers seconded to Rhodesia

1980, February: Surrey Constabulary officers seconded to Rhodesia (right).

1980, 12 February: At 2000 a fire broke out in the bedroom of a first floor flat in Westcott occupied by a 75 year old lady. The fire was discovered by a neighbour at 2155 and the emergency services called. The neighbour tried to rescue the lady but was driven back by heat and smoke.

PCs Michael Ledwidge and Anthony James attended and immediately crawled along the hallway to the bedroom where they could see flames and a thick smoke. Receiving no answer to their shouts the officers were also forced out of the flat by the heat and smoke. The Fire Service attended but the lady was dead. Both officers were commended by the Chief Constable and a certificate was awarded to the neighbour Mr Derrick Groves and the police officers by the Society for the Protection of Life from Fire.44

1980, 26 February: 0500 a Road Traffic Accident on the A3 at Guildford when a car overturned and caught fire. Inspector Harland arrived on the scene and with members of the public made an attempt at rescuing the driver but were driven back by the heat, smoke and fumes. Inspector Harland had a second try and was this time successful in releasing the driver and pulling him clear of the flames saving the life of the driver.

The Chief Constable commended the inspector and the Society for the Protection of Life from Fire awarded certificates to the officer and the members of the public Messrs Bennell, Hudson and Beales.45

1980, 26 March: Armed robbery: Three men with sawn off shotguns and wearing face masks forced an entry into the home of a jeweller in South Nutfield. They were tied up and threatened and so handed over the keys to their shop in Reigate. One man remained with the family and the other two went to the shop and stole jewellery and silver valued at £22,000. A further £26,000 of property was stolen from the house.

Once left alone the family managed to free themselves and raised the alarm. Later that morning a jaguar was seen in suspicious circumstances in Kent and made off followed by police. The vehicle came into Surrey and was stopped, one man arrested and a shotgun along with £22,000 of property recovered. The other men were later arrested and all appeared at the Central Criminal Court receiving lengthy prison terms.46

1980, April: Special Crime Patrol Unit: Observation was kept on two Farnham based burglars suspected of committing their crimes in Surrey. One evening they were seen to throw property into a river and the men were arrested. A search by the underwater search unit recovered jewellery valued at £1800 pounds. Both men admitted twenty one burglaries of which five were in Surrey.48

1980, 15 April: A man arrested by dog handler Tony Salter and Sabre after a protracted search and chase escaped from custody at Godalming after violently assaulting a police officer. Dog Inspector Stan Woods attended with Dextra and found a track in woodland. The escapee was seen and PC Salter who had made the arrest earlier let his dog Sabre go and the man was again detained.49

1980, May-June: Murder: An attempted rape occurred at Frensham near Farnham when an 18 year old girl was threatened by a man with a knife and attempted to rape her. ... more

1980: Clare Hutchison from The Bourne aged fifteen was reported missing on the way to school. There was ... more

1980, 13 May: Armed Robbery: A security van was boxed in and forced to stop in Tandridge. The vehicle was then attacked by probably five men one of whom ... more

1980, 19 May: Armed Robbery: During the night three men wearing balaclava and armed with shotguns and truncheons forced their way into the sub-post office at Mychett. They tied up the postmaster and his family forcing the postmaster to reveal the location of the safe and to hand over the contents £9,000. The postmaster and his family were locked in the garage of the house and the raiders made off. Three men were arrested following an intensive enquiry working with Essex Police. The men admitted the offence in Mychett.51

1980, 10 June: Murder: A 42 year old woman was found dead in her home in South Godstone having been beaten on the head with a baseball bat. Her car had been stolen. The vehicle was found at Oxted and a friend of the murdered woman arrested and later convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to four years in prison.52

1980, 22 October: Fraud: A Guildford bank was defrauded of £151,000 and enquiries by the Fraud Squad linked this to other offences and by January 1982 the total defrauded reached £600,00. Two men were arrested and charged.53

1980, 29 November: Arson: A man entered a number of empty industrial buildings at Ripley and set fire to them causing £85,000 worth of damage. A man was later arrested and committed to the Crown Court.

1980, 14 November: Vehicles were broken into at beauty spots and property stolen a crime prevalent in the Dorking and Leatherhead areas. Observation was kept on car parks and on the 14 November a man was arrested whilst attempting to enter a vehicle and was arrested admitting more than sixty offences.54

1980: Les Martin: I recall an incident involving a police dog, probably about 1980, in Dorking. A call came in that there were intruders on the premises; a private house. Uniform officers were dispatched, a dog handler was in the area, and was also sent, and a couple of us CID officers also went.

The uniformed officers and CID arrived slightly ahead of the dog handler (who I believe was Den Blackman) and there was a car parked outside with a woman sitting in it (the girl friend of the offender). He was still in the house, but on our arrival he legged it out the back, down the garden, over the fence, across the road and into a cornfield.

As soon as Den Blackman arrived, he was told of the situation and went with me to the field. The corn (or whatever it was) was four to five feet tall, and we could see a head above the corn running away. Den immediately picked up his Alsatian, pointed to the head which was rapidly getting smaller, and then put his dog down.

The dog leapt into action, and only seconds later the head disappeared immediately followed by yells and shouting. Needless to say the offender did not get away and of course at a later interview the offender confessed to everything, as he knew the dog was also at the police station.

1980: Murder of Sylvia Westcott.

1 Annual Report 1980.

2 Annual Report 1979.

3 Off Beat (May 1978).

4 Off Beat (May 1978).

5 http://www.polfed.org/aboutus/69DD9AB47F534348AD5D1415843163AA.asp [19 Jan 2010].

6 Annual Report 1979.

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