For a considerable time during my police service I drove the divisional 'Q' car, a high powered undercover car, containing myself, a CID Officer from one of the three stations each month, and what they called an 'Aide to CID', like an apprentice waiting to be appointed to that branch. On this occasion, I had a CID Detective Constable from Peckham station who chose an Aide, PC Turvey also from Peckham who I had worked with before, and whose nickname was 'Topsy'.

The trouble was this particular DC had not kept pace with his divisional work load, so Topsy and I decided to help him out before we got down to the serious Q Car work. This story relates to a visit to a woman who had apparently bounced three cheques, (one of the DCís outstanding jobs.)

FIVE POUNDS TO LOOK IN THE CUPBOARD

By Len A.Hynds

I rang the bell, and the door was opened by this small old lady, who spoke as if she was an Eastern European. I asked if Miss........ was in and she said, "No, but she wont be long, please come in." I followed her in and she pointed to an armchair, and I sat down. I busied myself, glancing through the papers of the case, when I suddenly realised that the old lady was trying to attract my attention. She was standing by a cupboard and pointing to it.

Thinking that she had opened it and had seen a spider inside and wanted me to kill it, I got up and tried to open the door, but she held it closed and at the same time holding out the other hand, saying" Five pounds".

I pushed her hand aside and opened it, and inside was the back of a see through mirror, and through it I could see a couple lying on a bed and what they were doing was not sleeping. With shock I realised that I was in a brothel, and this was the old ladies way of earning a few extra pounds. I slammed the door shut, and the old lady obviously swore at me in some foreign tongue. The customer went out through another door, and the prostitute appeared dressed in a negligee, letting it slip whilst saying, "Oh, you've never been here before." I said to her "I am not here for what you think.Ē She immediately looked at her 'Madame, with a look which said, "Oh god, not another kinky one"

I told her that I was a police officer and wanted to ask questions about bounced cheques. She was quite relieved, but the old lady turned very pale, and I immediately thought of that childís nursery rhyme,
'Old Mother Hubbard- went to the cupboard - to get her poor doggy a bone'
and in my mind she was registered as Old Mother Hubbard, but her cupboard was certainly full of surprises.

Looking Through Key Hole