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Central 822 Hardcover – 5 Mar 1998

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; 1st edition edition (5 Mar. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593042085
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593042083
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.6 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,732,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

A chance glance at a recruitment poster for the Metropolitan Police in 1964 changed secretary Carol Bristow's life. Little did she know, aged twenty-two, what the next thirty years would hold.

From her early days as a police rookie, Carol worked undercover in a drugs club, was strip-searched by her colleagues, and dealt with prostitutes, runaways and pickpockets. But being a simple WPC was not enough. Against all advice she signed up to join the virtually all-male enclave of the CID. Her call sign was 'Central 822'.

Carol rose through the ranks to become the first female detective sergeant on the Flying Squad and detective inspector on the Drugs Squad. But it was in the detection of serious sexual assaults that Carol truly made her mark, acquiring an unequalled reputation for dogged determination on cases such as the Ealing Vicarage rape and the murder of Australian heiress Janie Shepherd. She interviewed many shattered victims, set up the first sexual assault unit in the Met and became the unofficial police spokeswoman on sexual offences. Unsurprisingly, the nature of her work finally took a personal toll.

Central 822 is an insider's guide to policing at the sharp end. It is also the story of one remarkable woman's fight for justice. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
You won't believe it but I spent about 90 DM ( that's about 30 pounds) on this book, because I wanted to read it so desperately and I don't regret it. Well, these were the times before I had Internet access. But I think it shows that this book is really terrific. Carol Bristow tells us the story of her life. How she became a policewoman and why, the way her career developed and the way she personally coped with her cases. She writes about women who were the victims of sexual crimes and the development of the police procedure in this field. You will also read about evidence and a famous murder case. Anyone who is interested in police work will love this book. I paid such a high price for it, but I would do it again. It is a must have and a brilliant piece of work. Thank you for the insights you gave me, Carol!
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Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, although as an officer of the law myself I am surprised that Ms Bristow does not know what PLONK means. I think that had she known it stood for "People with Little Or No Knowledge" and was used by male officers as a dereogatory reference to female officers, she would not have considered it a term of endearment. Although I have to say that it's quite funny to see her referring to her own female colleagues as PLONKs.
Anyway the book is well written and shows the perils and pitfalls of the service very well. It also made me remember why I joined the job as the good times are documented too. It is comforting to read about a female officer rising to the higher ranks and performing so effectively in the role. It also made me think that not all the higher ranking officers have forgotten their time in the lowly ranks and some even look back on their time with fondness.
All in all I would recomend this book, especially to those within the police service.
Maybe Ms Bristow could write a fiction novel based on some of her cases? I'd buy it.
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Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed reading "Central 822", as good a memoire as has ever come out of the MET. In actual fact I enjoyed it so much I am reding it for the second time, something I have never done before. I was determined when reading it the second time I would digest word for word everything she wrote about her most famous arrests. When I went to bed early my wife used to say "I suppose you are going to bed with Carol Bristow again". This book makes facinating reading, written by an ordinary girl who came from a close knit family in North London and against all odds made it to senior officer rank in the most male dominated occupation in Britain, the elite "Flying Squad" whos terms of reference was dealing with armed robbers. She was also the first woman the squad authorised to use firearms. This was at a time when women police were mostly used for looking after children, prostitues and sexual offences. Miss Bristow has had the courage to write about her private and family life which she has cleverly interwoven between some of her arrests. This keeps the reader glued to the book as one does not know whats coming on the next page. There is little doubt she stood her own against male officers and to be the first Detective Inspector on a specialised squad at Scotland Yard "The Drugs Squad" says a lot for this hard working officer. It is worth buying this book just to read one of her most famous cases, her involvement in the famous Janie Shepherd murder, a murder that shocked the country. It is an excellent ready by a very brave and hard working officer.
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Format: Paperback
This is an exceptionally thoughtful and well-written book. Carol Bristow describes a time in the Metropolitan Police that exists no longer; and her recollections of working in cramped, smoke-filled CID offices across London with overflowing `corres' trays, full up ashtrays and half-filled polystyrene cups containing cold coffee brought the memories flooding back to me. Astonishingly, we all enjoyed it!

Ms. Bristow delves deeply into the deeply unpleasant sexual abuse cases which she encountered and accurately describes the trauma experienced by the victims, not only from the perpetrators but also by some of the disgraceful antics by their barristers in court with the defence manufactured to suit the occasion. Knowing that their clients were as guilty as sin, I have no doubt that these barristers experienced a satisfying sexual disturbance when bellowing accusations at the unfortunate victims.

Her experiences on the Flying Squad and the Drugs Squad are well documented but best of all is displayed in her utter determination to nail the murderer of Janie Shepherd. That is police investigation at its best.

Carol Bristow spares neither herself nor the reader when she describes her personal background, including her stoic battle against alcoholism - and additionally, apart from it being a thoughtful and well-written book, it is also a very brave one.

Anyone with an interest in the Metropolitan Police as well as a triumph over several forms of adversity, will enjoy this book, which comes highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a retired Metropolitan Police Detective Chief Inspector who served at the same time as Carol.I never served with but certainly knew of her and her excellent reputation.Since retirement I have read many police biographies.I can say with certainty that this is the best police biography I have read by a long way.
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