Who is Clive?
I would describe myself as being very lucky as I have enjoyed most of my life and have been blessed with a wonderful family and friends. All of this I owe to my Mother Christine Helen Rose Driscoll nee Vacher. My father Dennis Driscoll left home when I was 3 months and so I had a single parent upbringing. My Mum worked to keep us clothed and fed, whilst my grandparents Robert Vacher and Nellie Vacher looked after my Brother Barry and myself. I had a happy childhood in Battersea until I was 11 and then Putney until I was 16 and then Balham. All of South London.
Now being a parent I realise just how much my Mum sacrificed for her children and I will be forever grateful.
Before joining the Met Police, what were you doing before that?
I left Wandsworth School with no qualifications of any note and honestly believed I was going to be a professional footballer with Watford. However, Glandular Fever at the age of 16 finished my footballing career.
Confronted with the fact I had little to offer in the way of qualifications I joined a factory in Putney. It was awful and being bottom of the pack a lesson in life I will never forget.
I started an apprenticeship in plumbing and general building but soon realised I was allergic to some of the materials used building and maintaining houses.
I had very long hair and looked like someone from the Rolling Stones. For many months until I decided I would see the world. I hitchhiked starting at the Watford Gap Service station and visited Norway, Sweden, Germany what was Yugoslavia Greece. Spent several months on the Greek Islands and then hitchhiked back. The journey through Leningrad and Titograd without doubt terrifying.
I also went with a cousin and a friend in an old van to Morocco again a very wonderful experience.
When I returned I realised I had to do something with my life and applied for the Metropolitan Police, they did not like the fact I had been travelling so I joined the London Ambulance Service. It was only meant to be for two years but I enjoyed it so much I stayed for six years until 1979 I joined the police service in London.
Are you London born and bred?
Yes. Battersea until i purchased a house in 1975 in Cheam Surrey.
What made you decide to join the Police Force?
I always wanted to join the police and I cannot explain why. It was most likely the image created by George Dixon. Dixon of Dock Green. I watched it with my Mum.
When you first joined can you remember your first ever job and what the feeling was like?
I can remember hating Hendon. It was geared for 18 years old’s and I was 32. I did okay at Hendon but was very happy to leave.
My first posting was at Sutton Surrey and my two police officer’s mentors who taught me the beat was Harry Heavy and Bert Stevens. I once went running after a suspect and was told. “Why are you chasing him you should know who he is” They also told me off for walking too fast.
Were your family supportive in you joining the Police Force?
My Mum was but the rest of the family were not. Later in life, my own family (my children) are very proud I was a Police Officer.
You set up the first Domestic Violence units how did that happen?
It was Brixton in 1987 we had a series of GBH which the CID just described as Domestics as very serious assaults and I went to see a Chief Superintendent Bert Achkinson and told him we would have a murder soon if we did not deal with these incidents properly. Two murders happened and I was given the go-ahead to start the unit.
You also were in charge of policy for the Sexual Offences, Domestic Violence, Child Protection and the Paedophile Unit. How did that happen?
I was a Sergeant at Brixton and the management team wanted me to be an Inspector but I never really spoke the language that was liked at the time in assessments centres. So my old DI Jim Mould seconded me to New Scotland Yard. I had the role of writing the policy for Sexual Offences, Domestic Violence, CPT and I was also SPOC for the Paedophile Unit. After a while, you just talk strategy and performance and I passed the assessment Centre and became a Detective Inspector.
You are much known to many in regards to the most notorious cases you have dealt with. Did you ever think about the impact you made at the time on those certain cases?
I only cared then and I only care now on how the families viewed my investigation. I just wanted them to know I had tried my hardest.
How did you end up working on the Stephen Lawrence case and how did you feel with the case and bringing some of the perpetrators to justice?
I had passed the Chief Inspectors exam and was asked to go on the Racial and Violent Crime Task Force. Proactive Unit.
There were two Proactive units one working the East half of London one working the West. When the Metropolitan Police reorganised itself and the abolished Proactive teams. I was asked to go to Deptford Police Station as we had sold it to make sure we had not left anything in there. I found several murder papers one of which was Stephens case. Operation Fishpool. I immediately told the Superintendent who said those immortal words “ Bin Them “.
I went to see Cressida Dick now commissioner and said I would become the SIO for the case. After meeting in the yard it was agreed. I took over on 20th June 2006. It was obvious nothing had been done on the case for many years.
How hard is it being on such notorious cases? Was it hard seeing your family whilst being on cases like this?
It was a privilege to work on them and on occasions my family suffered, I would have to say if you had a management team who did not have children, then it was harder as they seemed to be oblivious to what responsibilities you had as a parent.
Were you removed from the Stephen Lawrence case?
I was never removed from Stephens case I was told I had to retire. In 2014 I had completed 35 years service and was over 60. The Met decided they wanted me to retire it is as simple as that.
You also were on the case for Surjit Atwal can you tell me about that?
Whilst the Met was reorganising I became part of several different units. One of them was the South Asian Crime Squad. I was asked to assume the role of SIO on Surjits case. I was happy to do that and so my team investigated it.
If there was another case that you had to deal with in your career can you remember which one that was one?
There are actually two that stand out Makeswaren Kanashan murdered in East London. The dispute that caused him to be murdered started in Udappuwa Sri Lanka. I travelled to Sri Lanka on several occasions and bought back two suspects later convicted for Murder at the Old Bailey.
Chelsea Headhunters football hooligans complex and difficult but successful.
You also now run your own company what made you do that?
When I left the Police I formed 1 is 2 Many Ltd. Any profits I get from the book or television appearances allows me to help the Charities I support.
You support 3 charities The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, helping families who feel they have not received justice; True Honour, helping families who have been the victims of honour-based violence; and The Paracelsus Trust, helping traumatised victims of abuse. What made you decide on those 3 charities?
I actually support True Honour I am Deputy Chair, Stephen Lawrence, Baroness Lawrence asked me to look into problems given to her. Neville Lawrence the same. KickZ football charity I support working with the London Football teams to help youngsters. I am a Dementia and Alzheimers Volunteer. ( I play piano three times a month ) I play the piano in Residential Homes twice a week across South London and Surrey, Sussex. I support all of them because it makes me feel happy and they are wonderful people.
Was it hard for you to build up trust with families and victims on the cases you have worked? Do you still keep in touch with the families?
If you are honest and work hard you will win confidence from families. If they wish to keep in contact with me it’s my privilege, However, I would not force myself on them. I meet with Baroness lawrence once a month and Neville when he is in England. I see Mrs Sarbjit Athwal who is the head of True Honour at least twice a week. I see Mrs Sarbjit Athwal who is the head of True Honour at least twice a week. I speak on the phone to others.
What was your biggest achievement?
Have you ever received any negativity about yourself in regards to your career?
Yes mainly from what was termed as career Detectives in the Metropolitan Police, some of the false rumours still circulating about Stephen Lawrence are both cowardly and hurtful to the family. In a strange way, I would worry if they liked me or not.
Has your life changed since you left the force behind?
Not really other than Fulham have been promoted and I have yet another grandchild so now 9.
Also, I have read your book In Pursuit Of Truth what made you decide to write a memoir?
Baroness Lawrence asked me to after I had been approached by the publishers, I said no originally.
It was whilst I was in the police service when a Barrister was doing a cross examination and afterwards, he said you have Dyslexia officer do not worry. I then took several tests which confirmed it
I did not find it hard as I have had it all my life so have ways of dealing with it.
I like to watch Fulham or play my piano.
You also have 9 grandchildren that must keep you busy?
Yes! Keeps me busy, happy and skint.
What’s next for Clive?
Who knows? Other than I will be watching Fulham in the premiership
Thank you for asking me the above.
What can I say about Mr Clive Driscoll. He is great and down to earth man and very upbeat. I was honoured that he agreed to do my blog with myself as this blog is just a very new blog and hasn’t got much status like Clive has. I was very happy as he was very open minded in the questions I asked. But one thing I did take away from him is about being positive and not taking any shit! Also, the fact we now will remain great friends. Clive is someone who is great on giving advice I already chewed his ear off! A brilliant man and a great role model!
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