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The Sweeney: The First Sixty Years of Scotland Yard's Flying Squad (Wharncliffe True Crime) [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Dick Kirby
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: 19.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

17 Feb 2011 Wharncliffe True Crime
The story of sixty years of Scotland Yard s 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 public s 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.

Frequently Bought Together

The Sweeney: The First Sixty Years of Scotland Yard's Flying Squad (Wharncliffe True Crime) + The Guv'nors: Ten of Scotland Yard's Greatest Detectives + The Scourge of Soho: The Controversial Career of SAS Hero
Price For All Three: 57.07

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wharncliffe Books (17 Feb 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848843909
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848843905
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 15.8 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 435,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


It's a rollercoaster ride; detectives who took crime by the scruff of its neck and wouldn't let go. --East Anglian Daily Times 19 February 2011

Dick Kirby's trademark humour is laced throughout this anecdote-paced book. --Tangled Web Website

A terrific book .. the courage, discipline and tenacity of this proud group of officers merits their place in policing history. --History by the Yard Website

The Sweeney is that rare and masterful book that informs and entertains from start to finish. --Joseph Wambaugh, author of The Choirboys

A meticulously researched docoment, full of colour and a fitting tribute to those who have served with the Squad over the years.
--Police Oracle Website

About the Author

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 was also published by Warncliffe Books and he has further other published works to his credit. In retirement he lives near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sweeney 19 Feb 2011
Well researched book by Dick Kirby which high lights the amazing foresight of Fred Wensley, who in 1919 recognised the need to tackle the `travelling' criminal and formed the Flying Squad. It is said that truth is often stranger than fiction, the stories of some of the Squad activities that Dick writes of would live up to this. Over all a fascinating read and it is sad to learn that this famous institution has now been disbanded.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rivetting realistic read 31 Aug 2011
As a retired long serving officer of the Flying Squad I recommend this book which gives an authentic account of the complex and intricate workings of the Flying Squad and the criminal underworld. Consequently, I congratulate Dick Kirby,the author, on the painstaking and exhaustive enquiries he will have made to produce a realistic account of the duties carried out and the duties expected of a Flying Squad officer. The stories told are both fascinating and genuine and brought back many memories for me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You're Nicked My Son!!!!! 16 Dec 2011
By Ginny
I bought this book for my husband who was an ardent fan of the police series "The Sweeney" and wanted to read about the history of the original squad. The book lived up to all his expectationa of what it would be. I haven't read it myself yet but he fully recommends it to anyone who is interested in the subject.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First class read 22 Oct 2011
By Monty
This is a well researched and authoritative account of Scotland Yard's 'Flying Squad' which will appeal to anyone with a fascination for police or crime history. But more than that, it's a great read and unfolds like a 'Boys' Own' annual, documenting the ups and downs of policing at the sharp end for the first sixty years of the squad's turbulent existence.

It's always good to read an account written by someone who knows what they're talking about. And Dick Kirby can rightly claim this. His insight into policing tactics in the years covered by the book is invaluable. The chapter on the 'Great Train Robbery' is particularly fascinating.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth at last! 28 April 2011
I must first declare an interest; my father features in this book, having served in the Squad himself.

Even allowing for that, this is probably the best publication I have read on what is a fascinating topic.

The content is excellently researched, Dick Kirby has put his detective abilities to good use and I suspect has been able to call in a few favours in terms of some of the information he has been made privy to (but if he says not I shall immediately retract the comment!)

It is well written and makes a very good read. I particularly enjoyed learning more about the vehicles used by the Squad, not something given much attention in the past and it is after all the cars which helped give them their name.

The background information on the Squad's various guv'nors is fascinating and a reminder that there was a time when a senior officer's first thought on hearing 'PC' mentioned, was of their men, not political correctness or a computer!

The book is also excellently produced by Pen & Sword, congratulations to them.
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