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The Sweeney: The First Sixty Years of Scotland Yard's Crimebusting (Paperback)

Flying Squad, 1919–1978

British History True Crime P&S History Social History 20th Century

By Dick Kirby
Imprint: Pen & Sword True Crime
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9781526756305
Published: 30th April 2019

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The story of sixty years of Scotland Yards top crime-busting department has been written over a twenty year period by a former detective who spent over eight years with the Flying Squad The Sweeney.

The meticulous research by the author has uncovered files never before released by the Yard and he has amassed the tales of bravery and top-notch investigations, carried out by the Squad officers of yesteryear.

The book commences with the dramatic account of the daring gold bullion and jewellery raid in 1948 by a gang of well-organised criminals from the newly-opened Heathrow Airport. The Flying Squad were lying in wait for them and what happened next, was described by a judge at the Old Bailey as, The Battle of Heathrow.

The Flying Squad was formed to stem the tide of lawlessness, following the First World War; from humble beginnings using horse-drawn wagons, they swiftly progressed to high-speed cars. Taking on the might of the Racetrack Gangs, armed robbers and smash & grab raiders, the Squad was brought to the forefront of the publics attention.

The war years, the secret post-war Ghost Squad, the horse-doping scandals, the Great Train Robbery, the Bank of America robbery, Supergrasses and corruption are recounted with its scrupulous attention to detail. The book is filled with thrilling, amusing and always compelling anecdotes from the men who were there. It was the Flying Squad who inspired the popular TV series. This book reveals what life was really like in The Sweeney.

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 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 _and London Gangs at War are all published under the Pen & Sword True Crime imprint and he has further other published works to his credit. On retirement he lives near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

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