Working for the Flying Squad at Scotland Yard meant a lot of undercover work, when you act the part of a criminal to gain access to the location of certain stolen property, or information as to major planned crimes. My squad were given the assignment of finding a warehouse in the East End of London that was full of stolen property, and the professional mobile team who were hijacking lorry loads of valuable goods throughout the UK. One part of our team concentrated on the possible hijackers and the un-ending surveillance and tailing that it involved. My part of the team involved a Detective Sergeant and I as his confederate driver, we were both of the criminal fraternity, and searching for stolen goods to sell in the street markets in London from stalls. Our Tinker Bell squad, (the phone tappers), gave us a possible contact, and we found him in a south London pub
After a few meetings and after he was satisfied that we were as bent as he was and being paid for his introduction, we took him to a back room in Cable street, Stepney, on his directions, where my colleague told the two men there what he was interested in buying. He had mentioned to our first contact what he wanted to buy and every item he mentioned was suddenly produced. The delay on getting to Cable Street was explained to me later, as we both had been given false names and addresses, and that first contact had obtained our 'names and addresses' and needed time to check on them. This had been done.
After a time, the main villain appeared, and a deal was done as to the quantity, which was mostly tea, cigarettes and red salmon from memory. The main man said that he would arrange the delivery to our warehouse in south London. My DS wanted it done that day, so the main villain said that his driver could take the DS to the South London warehouse and arrange the handover of cash, whilst I took the main villain in my very fast red Jaguar to the villains garage under some railway arches and get his two lorries to follow us to his warehouse which we desperately needed to find. We went to the warehouse in Bromley-By-Bow, and they were loaded, but at every stage, I could see we were being discreetly followed by undercover flying squad vehicles. Of course I could not switch on the hidden radio. Suddenly the villain said in an almost terror stricken voice. "The lorries are being stopped. That bloody fool of yours. He's led them straight to me. Quick get out of here." In the mirror I could see the lorries had been stopped, but two squad vehicles were pursuing me. I guessed that all the premises had been raided and all the team involved at that precise moment under arrest.
I had to escape, so deliberately drove into a market place, so close on the nearside to a stall, so my passenger couldn't open his door, leapt out, narrowly avoiding capture by arrangement, slipping through a colleagues hands and ran very fast through the crowd. The DS had also managed to escape , when his driver was arrested.