Paul chats to Ruth D’ Allessandro, whose second of a trilogy of books has just been released.
We met Ruth last year, when her first book Calling WPC Crockford was released.
The second continues with the story about how in the early 1950s, the Berkshire Constabulary finally opened its ranks to more women.
And WPC Crockford was one of those early pioneers…
In this book, it is 1956, and the Berkshire Constabulary has never had a woman detective before.
That is, until bright and ambitious WPC Gwen Crockford passes out of Hendon Detective Training School with flying colours.
After five years serving as one of Britain’s first policewomen, Gwen Crockford becomes one of its first female detectives.
Swapping crime prevention for detection, she must soon become comfortable with attending murder scenes and post-mortems, investigating sex crimes and going undercover.
Her police work is diverse and challenging: dealing with Teddy boy violence, arson, a paedophile ‘war hero’, and solving an unexplained death are all part of her remit.
Written and researched by Gwen’s daughter Ruth from family papers, remembered stories from her mother and contemporary newspapers, this is a fascinating insight into late-1950s society and the challenges faced by female police officers.