The Sweeney: The First Sixty Years of Scotland Yard's Flying Squad

The Sweeney: The First Sixty Years of Scotland Yard's Flying Squad

by Dick Kirby


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The Sweeney: The First Sixty Years of Scotland Yard's Flying Squad by Dick Kirby

The story of sixty years of Scotland Yard’s top crime-busting department has been written over a twenty year period by a former detective who spent over eight years with the Flying Squad – The Sweeney.

The meticulous research by the author has uncovered files never before released by the Yard and he has amassed the tales of bravery and top-notch investigations, carried out by the Squad officers of yesteryear.

The book commences with the dramatic account of the daring gold bullion and jewellery raid in 1948 by a gang of well-organised criminals from the newly-opened Heathrow Airport. The Flying Squad were lying in wait for them and what happened next, was described by a judge at the Old Bailey as, ‘The Battle of Heathrow’.

The Flying Squad was formed to stem the tide of lawlessness, following the First World War; from humble beginnings using horse-drawn wagons, they swiftly progressed to high-speed cars. Taking on the might of the Racetrack Gangs, armed robbers and smash & grab raiders, the Squad was brought to the forefront of the public’s attention.

The war years, the secret post-war Ghost Squad, the horse-doping scandals, the Great Train Robbery, the Bank of America robbery, Supergrasses and corruption are recounted with its scrupulous attention to detail. The book is filled with thrilling, amusing and always compelling anecdotes from the men who were there. It was the Flying Squad who inspired the popular TV series. This book reveals what life was really like in The Sweeney.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781848843905
Publisher: Wharncliffe
Publication date: 07/26/2011
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Dick Kirby was born in the East End of London and joined the Metropolitan Police in 1967. Half of his twenty-six years’ service was spent with Scotland Yard’s Serious Crime Squad and the Flying Squad.

Kirby contributes to newspapers and magazines on a regular basis, as well as appearing on television and radio. The Guv’nors was also published by Warncliffe Books and he has further other published works to his credit.

In retirement he lives near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii

Foreword John O'Connor ix

Prologue: Heathrow, 1948 1

Flying Squad - in the Beginning 10

The Squad Begins to Fly 19

The Racetrack Gangs 41

The Squad - 1930s 51

The War Years 65

The Ghost Squad and the Post-war Years 75

The Squad - 1950s 90

The Horse Dopers 112

The Squad - 1960s 119

The Great Train Robbery 142

Gunmen and Gallants 167

The Bank of America 186

Corruption, Supergrasses and Devolvement 196

Epilogue 212

Bibliography 216

Index 220

About the Author 227

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