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Discussion Starter #1
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?

W
 

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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?

W
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"

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Colossus-B...bletchley+parks&qid=1552265274&s=books&sr=1-1
 

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The MNAOA Telegraph often carried recruitment advertisements, in the early 70s, for Radio Officers to work for the Met Police in London.


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About 1958 when I was learning Morse I used to take down Interpol messages within the 3.5 to 3.8 mc/s band. The messages were between European countries and I recall there was a lot of mediocre quality Morse, some sent on bug keys. It was usually in plain language.
73, Andrew
 

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I cannot comment about the early days of radio for the Metropolitan Police Service. However the county police forces in England and Wales were supported by a Home Office Department called the Directorate of Telecommunications (DTels). A brief explanation about county Force radio can be found here https://www.dtels.org/html/history_overview.html . For those with time to spare, a perusal of the remainder of the site is well worth the effort.

Regards

John
 

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My Father ex-R.N. telegraphist was in the Police force in this role attached to the R.U.C. on the Fermanagh N.I./ Irish Free State border in 20's.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the replies ... all VG.

Interesting that the police were checking Communist cells during the general strike. I didn't know that the latter were so organised.

Also, thanks to Bob Hughes for his input. Did your father tell you how things worked out in practice? I mean, was it a normal police car or some kind of van? Was the gear just plonked down on the rear seat? Or perhaps it was a point to point link between police stations.

I have heard that in the 1930s someone on the south coast was picking up the Edinburgh police.

All good stuff and thanks again.

W
 

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SNIP

Interesting that the police were checking Communist cells during the general strike. I didn't know that the latter were so organised.

SNIP
W
According to Paul Gannon, the Comintern didn't get it's wireless organised until the 1930s.

During the 1926 strike, the police chased down an illicit wireless station only to find that they'd caught the "Daily Mail" who had set up a secret transmitter in case the Post Office workers joined the strike . .

cb
 

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When I was a kid living in Benalla, Australia, around 1946 the local police Sergeant had been trained to be a R/O but went into the Victorian police force to train (as he put it) hammed fisted police to use Morse from patrol cars.

Frank
 

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The current Police coms system in UK leased from Airwave is considered too expensive and the contract being ended. To replace they are going for a system based on mobile phone tech.

Errrrr except PTT .. Press To Talk / Boadcast to unlimited numbers of other handsets using mobile phone tech not exist .. the experts were saying .. not me.
Last time I did internet research the government were relying on it being invented. Not sure they know what they doing. Its controversial anyway.

Its gonna be interesting to follow what happens. I guess dialing up to speak only to a control room or 1 other person not what is needed.

Meanwhile .. Im available for employment by the Police if they need to re introduce morse. But I not come cheap. 😨😨😨😨😨😨. My perfect morse might be effected by bumpy roads .. so dont hurl too many QSDs at me.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks very much Alan ... what a feast of information from those two links. What a wonderful thing this forum is!
W
 
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