There was an occasion where things didn’t go according to plan and we took a detour and a gun was produced. And I was threatened and told I was suspected of being a undercover detective I choose to say, “Of course I am. That’s exactly who I am. Exactly, you’re absolutely right.” That’s you fucked. There was a kind of pause there was a kind of moment in the car where you, you know you think it will go either way and then there was laughter and then we went and had a drink. And I remember having a drink and I went off to the loo and I was I vomited for about 3 or 4 minutes As an undercover officer, the important thing, before deployment is to build up your legend, your identity creating a character, a profile, that will stand some scrutiny. So it depends on what you are being employed to do. If you’re about to buy the drugs, you’d have to be very convincing, as a drug buyer. If you are buying firearms, you have to be comfortable, breaking down weapons and look believable that you understood exactly what type of firearms you were buying. You are creating a fictitious character, so there’s always a danger in fear of discovery. You are constantly in fear of being exposed. Of being seen as not who you say you are As an undercover officer, one of the things you would do, religiously, was to dry clean yourself. By that I would mean, take every precaution you could to make sure that you weren’t being followed. This was a place that I used. Particularly, if I wanted to abandon a vehicle that I might be using. To really, dry clean myself and make sure that I hadn’t been compromised. In that life, within that role, I worked on many cases and in a wide variety of guises Some of these may only involve a few days work, a few hours, a telephone call. Sometimes it might be long-term deployment. In one case, about two and a half years. Somewhere like this, on a ferry, would be a good opportunity to actually meet with your “cover-man” You “cover-man” were often referred to as your uncle Sometimes you could become so involved in a job that you might not see clearly, that you might not make the right decision but, hopefully, your “cover-man” your uncle, could see it might just be a step too far, that the risk might be too great that you had been in-situ for too long, that you can not see it clearly anymore. And maybe it was time to take a step back. If it was a drugs operation, it’s about keeping a clear head and never using, I think for any undercover officer that’s the path to take But here’s the simple truth, if somebody put a gun to your head or in your mouth and said, “I tell you what, you and I can have this line now and if we do that then, I’m sure we’re gonna get on very well. And I’m not gonna have any questions about you being who you are.” If you’re placed in that situation, what do you do? Cause the law would say, “Well, of course we don’t encourage undercover officers to take drugs.” But, no management would take the view that you should have just flat-out refused And then sort of, becoming addicted or having a dependency, you know, on drugs. You can understand how that could easily happen. I can remember an officer, who’s something of a mentor in terms of undercover policing told me, if I could at all avoid working on either a paedophile case or a corruption case, to avoid it. Because of the damage it was likely to do to you And I didn’t listen. In terms or working on a paedophile case, the story, as I understood it was that I was kind of, of a similar kind of persuasion There was supposed to be a level of understanding, that we both knew what each others, sort of, proclivities were It was surreal, extremely difficult, you know-knowing what crimes this individual had committed. And I wasn’t a father then, I am now, but even then it was very difficult to be in the company of this, this man. There were moments, again, looking back, where I think he was testing, you know Two hours, I still remember that case now, you know This world can eventually fuck you up. And one of the last cases I worked on was police corruption. I was called to the Yard, Scotland Yard to a meeting with the man who ran the undercover unit at that time. And I was asked to infiltrate a group of senior officers suspected of corruption. During that long, difficult, infiltration, I was subject to allegations and that proved to be groundless and the allegations were withdrawn but that had severely compromised the corruption inquiry. It was very difficult to know what was happening because nobody from the MET contacted me to de-brief me. There was good reason to believe that the reason I’d been suspended was a softening up process to coerce me into spying on other suspended officers. So, it was a very complicated double-bluff That corruption inquiry, there was clearly substance to it and it probably started from a good place but it itself became corrupted. And that was the first job where I felt really, kind of, isolated and not connected to the organisation. It really was a poison chalice I certainly suffered a mental, sort of, deterioration during that time. You could see there were elements of, of “God’s work” within the management. “God’s work” is the manipulation of facts, and truth to fit the agenda. And so, if pressure is put on senior managers to do the right thing on behalf of the organisation, they will do that. I thought, back then, that undercover policing was a pure form of policing It would not be subject to whatever agenda was being discussed in the high office within Scotland Yard. Coming to a place like this, to a football stadium, here you were in the company of thousands, anonymous. And you could relax, this was somewhere that I wanted to come and just be myself and to lose myself in the crowd. If I was pressed, was it worth all the pain and the suffering. You know, I spent time in a psychiatric unit, twice. How I reconciled it, that at every point, at every junction, had I not stopped and turned left or right, navigated my way through it, I would not be the person I am today. I can see a positive in it. I understand who I am and what I do now. So, it’s a good thing, you know. You, kind of, look back.