In the summer of 1978, rumors emerged from the underworld that huge sums of money had been paid to the City of London Police to water-down evidence and arrange bail in cases of armed robbery. Then it was suggested that Scotland Yard’s Flying Squad was also involved.
The Home Secretary appointed the Dorset Police to investigate but it became clear to the criminals upon whom they relied to provide evidence that they were completely out of their depth. One line of inquiry after another became hopelessly compromised.
While the investigation was known officially as Operation COUNTRYMAN, things were so bad that the team were variously nicknamed ‘The Swedey’ and ‘Malice in Blunderland’.
Despite a four year inquiry costing £4,000,000, eight Metropolitan police officers were acquitted and just two City of London officers were imprisoned. Operation COUNTRYMAN had little to do with that success; the convictions resulted from the fearlessness of a City of London policeman.
The Author, a former Metropolitan police officer has used his knowledge and contacts to lift the lid on the shambolic COUNTRYMAN inquiry. He pulls no punches.