Strike! Strike! Strike!
This is an invitation to read the opening pages of #1 bestseller in the amazon kindle store - autobiographies and true crime - law enforcement... Here we go,
Thanks for the memories..., Cumbria Constabulary, The Regional Crime Squad, The Special Branch, The Metropolitan Police Anti-Terrorist Branch, The Royal Ulster Constabulary, The Security Service
‘A policeman’s story’
‘from tea-maker to spy-catcher’
‘from errand boy to counter-terrorist detective’
‘Strike! Strike! Strike!’, An account of front line policing
by Paul Anthony
‘It’s not what happens to you that defines you as an individual. It’s how you react that defines you …’
We moved in quickly from every angle imaginable. There were two of them who had arranged to sell secrets to a ‘potential hostile enemy’ and we’d been on them for over 18 months. Eventually we intercepted Soviet spies sent from Moscow to do the deal and replaced them with our own people. The traitors had planned their betrayal carefully and not left anything to chance. They were bright, clever, switched on, and well and truly on their stalks. You could cut the atmosphere with a knife.
Eyeing every possible hiding place our targets gradually neared the rendezvous point. Street by street, yard by yard, they came closer to us as we reeled them in like a fish on a line.
Yet our suspects were suspicious of the bite they were about to take.
Nervous, wary of everyone and everything, the conspirators knew what they were doing and why. It was no game of chance for them but, make no mistake, the dice was loaded in their favour. This was the big one. The one they’d planned for so long.
Eventually, there was a reluctant smile followed by a submissive sparkle from a sceptical eye. Their dream of wealth overwhelmed all other considerations and inspired them onwards.
For the opposition, it would be all over in half an hour and they’d be home free with riches beyond imagination. For us, we were still in the game but it was all to play for.
They parked up, watched and waited with the engine running ready for a getaway if it all went wrong. Then a tall bearded Russian carrying the money arrived and made a signal. Visibly relieved, two turncoats sighed, cut the engine, and got out of their vehicle. It was their move and they were keen to get it all done, too keen perhaps. My heartbeat was ‘critical’, about to overload!
Casually, they opened the van doors to expose secrets from a Trident submarine base in Barrow in Furness, Cumbria. Their objective was a few million pounds in exchange for top secret underwater acoustic equipment developed by British scientists working alongside their American colleagues.
Our money man walked forward to meet them.
Ivan’s pulse was racing, adrenalin pounding, sweat streaming down his neck into the small of his back. Actually, my pal was one cool cucumber who did this kind of thing for a living. He spoke various Russian dialects fluently.
Stepping forward, Ivan acknowledged them in his supposed mother tongue and then, with a smile, gave an agreed code word.
They were apprehensive. So were we. Were our targets armed?
What’s a couple of million quid and a few secrets in the scheme of things?
I’ll tell you.
The balance of power is at risk. Someone is trying to change the global pecking order and either stay ahead of the game, or jump a place or two above their opponents. The trick is to keep everything nicely balanced, define the enemy, and defeat them. That way the status quo is kept and you remain in the global power game. Sometimes you stay way ahead in such a game because you’re showing the rest just what you’re capable of.
A potentially hostile enemy badly wanted a device that prevented everyone from locating our Trident submarines underwater. A cloak of invisibility in a Cold War against the Soviets and it was ours. It was British and on our shift the device was going to stay that way. That’s why no-one knew.
Police officers on the beat didn’t need to know, and neither did motor patrol, traffic, local uniform staff, CID, crime squad, drug squad, task force, or the divisional commander. The chief and deputy chief knew, and that was it. The operation was secret – from start to finish - and why we used a cloak of invisibility to cover our operation to ensure security of our nation’s primary weapon – a cloak of invisibility.
Operation Keyfob was live.
The key was in a lock and the best of the best were turning it.
This was our moment.
It was our time.
Months of painstaking work, of covert enquiry and undercover surveillance. Hours of listening to voices, scrutinising photographs, identifying suspects and ruling them in or ruling them out. Then, getting closer, becoming much more covert and more technical as the last piece of a gigantic jigsaw fell into place.
Thousands of man hours known only to a hand-picked team and now brought to fruition by that same elite unit. They were our elite. We were on the block.
Our money was exposed to view. Their secrets were laid bare.
Ivan stroked his beard. That was the signal!
‘Strike! Strike! Strike!’
A loudspeaker boomed out, ‘We are the police. Stand still. You are surrounded.’
A dumbfounded look, a swing of a head, a drop of a jaw, and eyes cast down. There was a slight shuffle of feet and a failed stumbling attempt to run away when that call was made and the job went down.
Tyres squealed when our cars dominated the ground and we burst out of the vehicles like men and women possessed shouting, dominating, empowered, and unashamed. We took them to the ground. They were nicked, bang to rights with one hand taking our money and the other selling the nation’s secrets.
It was all over.
Was this the opening of another Paul Anthony crime thriller? Or was it another film being made?
It had to be a film.
‘Cos nowt ever ‘appens in Cumbria.’
That’s right, ‘Nowt ever ‘appens in Cumbria’.
Spy-catcher… It’s a story from Cumbia’s front line that I’m going to tell you.
Beware, this is my front line. It’s a front line that only a few ever walk.
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