Being a member of the Surrey Constabulary Traffic Department, I believe, but this is not an easy question to answer as I enjoyed most of the postings I held during my service. In fact, the only postings that I wasn’t particularly keen on as they were too inactive were beat patrols and protection posts.
My job as a detective constable in the Surrey CID in 1963/64 was particularly satisfying though, although it was also very demanding. Moreover, the skills I learned then were very useful in later years when, as a superintendent in the Bedfordshire Police, I investigated complaints against policemen.
Overall though, the two years of 1961/62 that I spent working as a traffic patrol driver stand out as the most enjoyable. This was in the days before the proliferation of motorways, with the ‘A’ roads allowing the highest speeds for cars and very few places where ninety plus miles per hour could be reached.
I was one of a dozen constables stationed at a specially built Traffic Centre at Chertsey in Surrey and spent most of my duty time as part of a two man crew patrolling the twenty-five or so miles from the Metropolitan Police Border at Staines to the border with the Hampshire Constabulary. This was a fast road and our job entailed many high speed chases in our black Austin 101 Saloon car, which could outclass most vehicles on the road.
Naturally our work included dealing with the many fatal accidents on this stretch of road, but this unpleasant task was offset most of the time as we dealt with crime and criminals. Night and day we would park alongside the road, usually at the Metropolitan Police border, and watch vehicles coming out of London. Then, having spotted a vehicle whose occupants to us appeared suspicious, we would stop the vehicle, search it and interrogate the occupants. All the members of this elite team acquired a nose for spotting criminals and each one made a large number of arrests.
My Professional Career
What part of your police service did you most enjoy?