Scotland Yard's Gangbuster (Paperback)
Bert Wickstead’s Most Celebrated Cases
'"Careful George, he's tooled up!" This book is a vivid and fascinating account of policing some of the era's most serious crimes, written by an experienced, retired police officer.' – A review by David Pickup for the Law Society Gazette, read the full review here.
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In the late 1960s the Richardson Torture Gang and the Kray Twins were removed from the London scene by ACC Gerry McArthur and Det. Supt. Nipper Read respectively.
Predictably it was not long before the vacuum this left was being filled. With McArthur retired and Read moved on, who was to sort out the new gangland threat?
Step forward Detective Chief Superintendent Bert Wickstead. Having cut his teeth on young desperadoes and neo-Nazis in North London and solved London’s biggest post war bank robbery, Wickstead was well qualified to head up the Yard’s Serious Crime Squad.
First to fall were the Dixon brothers, followed by the Tibbs family. As his fame spread he took on the West End Maltese Syndicate specialising in prostitution and extortion. When he broke up the Norma Levy call-girl ring, two cabinet peers had to resign.
Inevitably Wickstead’s career was dogged by unproved allegations of malpractice but, as this riveting ‘insider’ account conclusively proves, he more than earned his sobriquet ‘The Gangbuster’.
As featured inThe Bookseller 26/4/19
Competition winner announcedTrue Crime Library Bulletin 511
Dick Kirby, ex-Flying Squad, tells Wickstead’s story, in the style with which readers of his many previous books will be familiar: meticulous detail, admiration and respect for those of his former colleagues that deserved it, and none at all for those he deemed corrupt or incompetent or both. There are some good anecdotes and the book is a worthy tribute to a very successful detectivePolice History Society
As featured in competitionTrue Crime Library, Bulletin 505/6
This book is a vivid and fascinating account of policing some of the era’s most serious crimes, written by an experienced, retired police officer.The Law Society Gazette
I enjoyed Scotland Yard’s Gangbuster, which is a good biography of an enigmatic and controversial copper.Ripperologist, January 2019 – reviewed by Paul Begg
Dick Kirby is be be congratulated; this book is difficult to put downLondon Police Pensioner Magazine
It’s one of those books that every true-crime fan needs to put on their reading listBritain's Gangland Magazine
The research and knowledge of the author is extraordinary and it is brilliant thatSurrey Constabulary Journal
he records all this material before it is lost. If ex-police officers like Dick do not
research and write up this material it will either never be done or at some stage some
author or academic’s work with little understanding of the milieu will become the
orthodoxy. The work is not bedtime reading and will keep your concentration though
for the aficionados there are inevitably repetition of previously written about cases.
This is probably the first book to concentrate on Wickstead and does not shy from
criticism of Bert or his times.
When the Second World War ended, England was bombed-out and starving, with practically every saleable commodity rationed. It was the age of austerity and criminal opportunity. Thieves broke into warehouses, hi-jacked lorries and ransacked railway yards to feed the black market; others stole, recycled or forged ration coupons. Scotland Yard was 6,000 men under strength but something dramatic had to be done – and it was. Four of the Yard’s best informed detectives were summoned to form the Special Duties Squad, which became widely known as the Ghost Squad. They were told: ‘Go out into the…By Dick Kirby
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