How times change! Many will recall seeing the local "bobby" in his pointed helmet, smart tunic and polished duty boots patrolling the High Street and chatting to members of the public who generally respected their presence. They now go round in groups, wearing bright yellow jackets, anti-stab vests, flat hats and unpolished shoes. At the back of their minds, the constant worry that they will not reach the current month's target for arrests. Tony Kirkbank joined the Kent Police Force in 1962-a time when poor pay, poor housing and local under-manning combined to make problems for officers who carried out the many and varied tasks demanded of them. This is his account of the years between 1962 and 1977 covering training, walking the beat in Dartford, driving traffic cars and being a village "bobby" in an idyllic corner of Kent. In the days before occupational stress, Health & Safety rules, overarching administrative layers and target-driven goals, this book presents a picture of basic policing as experienced in those days with examples of amusing anecdotes and recollections that all helped the copper on the beat to see his shift through with satisfaction. February 2012
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