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Works of: Non-fiction
This was the author’s first book which she found courage to write after recalling how eager people were to hear about what policewomen (still a rare species) actually did. In it she looks back on having just become a State Registered Nurse in the North East to finding herself smartly dressed in full police uniform in Piccadilly Circus endeavouring to answer tourist questions.
It was 1954 and equality was still a long way off. There was little aggression from male officers who were mostly single and glad to see us. The women’s main role in this area was seeking out young girls who had runaway from home or Approved Schools for the bright lights of London and dealing with the many prostitutes in the area. But they also patrolled which meant dealing with any problem that arose such as ‘property found’ (in her case a basket full of laundry straddling a crossing in Mayfair) ‘illness in the street’ (ditto: a man having a stroke in a pub in which he should not have been at that hour).
Her speciality it emerged was dealing with ‘people of unsound mind’ who gravitated to her relentlessly. She also sat at hospital bedsides of attempted suicides awaiting their willingness to offer friends and relatives to assist them; the occasional countrywide trip to escort a prisoner – Wales without warning and an overnight stay; Newcastle-on-Tyne there and back in one day. More colourfully: duty on Film Premiers and ceremonial duty in the Mall for a ‘Trooping’ or a Royal Wedding.
Photograph on back cover of author in uniform on her last day of service in 1960. Front of cover an illustration of a uniformed Joan Lock standing before an impression of Piccadilly Circus complete with the statue of Eros.
Other books by Joan Lock
The British Policewoman: Her Story 2nd Edition
Tales from Bow Street
Death in Perspective
SCOTLAND YARD CASEBOOK: The Making of the CID 1865-1935
Seis Rosas Blancas
Marlborough Street; The Story of a London Court
Famous Trials, Famous Prisons and Protecting Yourself Against Criminals
The British Policewoman: Her Story
Scotland Yard’s First Cases
The Princess Alice Disaster
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