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.
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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
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
About the Author 227