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Scotland Yard's Flying Squad (Hardback)

100 Years of Crime Fighting

British History True Crime London 20th Century

By Dick Kirby
Imprint: Pen & Sword True Crime
Pages: 234
Illustrations: 60
ISBN: 9781526752130
Published: 2nd October 2019

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Since 1919 Scotland Yard’s Flying Squad has been in the forefront of the war against crime. From patrolling London’s streets in horse-drawn wagons, it has progressed to the use of the most sophisticated surveillance and crime-fighting equipment.

Between the Wars, the Squad targeted protection gangs who infested British racecourses and greyhound tracks. The highly effective Ghost Squad was formed to tackle black-marketeering in the aftermath of the Second World War.

As crime figures soared in the 1950s and ‘60s the Flying Squad, as C8 Department was now known became involved in the most serious cases nationwide – The Great Train Robbery, Brink’s Mat, The Millennium Dome and Hatton Garden heists. As always, the Squad concentrated on ambushing and arresting armed robbers in the act as, in police parlance, they ‘went across the pavement’.

Despite many high-profile successes, allegations of corruption have haunted the Flying Squad and after the conviction of officers in 2001 there was a very real possibility of disbandment.

Yet this most famous of police units survived and today continues to fight and be feared by the hardest of criminals.

Drawing on first-hand accounts, Dick Kirby has put together a thrilling book that proves that fact is way better than fiction.

Dick Kirby is a master of recording anecdotal evidence, quick wittedness, use of informants and ‘tricks of the trade’ … highlighting the spirit of perseverance persisting within the Squad, over the years.

London Police Pensioner Magazine

A no-holds-barred illustrated history of the celebrated police unit, written by an ex-Scotland Yard author with unrivaled contacts.

Bookseller 12/7/19
 Dick Kirby

About Dick Kirby

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, The Sweeney, Scotland Yard’s Ghost Squad, The Brave Blue Line, Death on the Beat, Scourge of Soho, London’s Gangs at War, The Mayfair Mafia and Scotland Yard’s Gangbuster are all published under the Pen & Sword True Crime imprint and he has further other published works to his credit. In retirement he lives near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Kirby can be visited at his website: www.dickkirby.com.

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