Originally Posted by Worldspan
I've seen snippets about how in the 1920s ex RN telegraphists were employed by some police forces to operate radios in patrol cars. Does anyone know about this? Are there refs in books or magazines? Wonder how long it continued ... when did RT take over?
Did police in the UK use CW point to point? I know the French gendarmerie did. There was also a big Interpol net (around 5 mc/s CW) in the 1960s and perhaps later. Presumably there was a UK radio station operated by the police.
I read in a book about Bletchley that one of the Y stations was a Met Police unit at Denmark Hill. From what I remember, this police intercept unit was already in existence before WW2. You'd think that radio intercept would have been a matter for the armed forces even in peacetime. Does anyone know anything about this outfit at Denmark Hill?
It was set up by Harold Kenworthy, who had worked on radio direction finding during the first WW and who later went on to run the large Tunny intercept "Y" station and F.O.R.D.E. at Ivy farm at Knockholt Pound where Knockholt Bowling club is today.
Originally he was on loan from Marconi to the Met to investigate how radio might help the police, but he was later transfered to the Foreign Office when they took over most of the Y function to supply GC&CS which was about to start its 1938 move up to Bletchley.
The Police were mainly interested in Communist cells during the general strike but tried to get the Foreign Office to take over the intercept function.
The old Police Nursing home building still exists at Grove Park Denmark Hill and the grounds were the station was set up still have a BT site & mast visible from the Railway.
There is something about it in Paul Gannon's book "Colossus: Bletchley Park's Greatest Secret"