Harry Roberts and Foxtrot One-One: The Shepherd's Bush Massacre
In August 1966, two weeks after England won the World Cup, and four miles from Wembley Stadium, Harry Roberts and his associates gunned down three unarmed police detectives in front of dozens of primary school children. The nation was outraged and struggled to understand what had just happened. Roberts had served in the special forces during the conflict in Malaya and claimed to have been assigned to kill selected targets. He returned to the UK keen to continue the same work in civilian life, but he was rejected by the two gangs that dominated the London Criminal Underworld in the 1960s, the Krays and the Richardsons, as being too violent. Following what became known as the Shepherd's Bush Massacre, Roberts' accomplices, John Witney and John Duddy, were quickly arrested, but Roberts went to ground, using the skills that he had learned in the army. The public reported sightings of him in London, around the country and even across the world. The police relentlessly followed up every lead. In the days preceding a professional firearms unit the police response was somewhat amateurish. One PC on the search for Roberts was given a gun in a box, together with the ammunition for the weapon, but strictly instructed not to load it and under no circumstance to fire it. The case of Harry Roberts, the crew of police car Foxtrot One-One, and the Shepherd's Bush Massacre has become the stuff of legend, with football supporters singing songs about it for half a century. It led directly to the establishment of the Metropolitan Police firearms wing and a new professional attitude to guns in the entire British police service. Harry Roberts served almost 50 years mostly in solitary confinement in prison, before being paroled only days after Teresa May, then Home Secretary, announced that police killers should never be released.One of the most notorious crimes of the last century. The case that led directly to the establishment of the MPS firearm training arrangements seen today. By a former senior MPS armed officer.