Christ, it must have been depressing and frustrating to have been around for countryman.
What happened to the Sergeant whose volvo was used in the payroll job?
I met one of the officers who interviewed me a couple of years later and we got on well. He told me a few things in confidence and I mentioned the sergeant. He said he was not an easy interviewee. I suppose most officers know what he means, and the majority of people can guess.
He was given some info from an informant regarding a shotgun found on premises of a known villain. RCS had searched and found two shotguns, one sawn-off and therefore S1 so higher penalty, wrapped in oiled leather in the hot water tank cupboard. The intact gun had turned out to be the property of a serving Met PC who had 'loaned' the shotgun to a friend in an RCS, not the one involved in the search.
This Countryman chap had taken the two shotguns to the premises to try and place them in the cupboard. Even the sawn-off wouldn't go in on its own, let alone the full size one. And that was without the oiled cloth.
The 'offender', presumably having offended the RCS, was still kept inside despite the finding of false statements as he had been found guilty of two much more serious offences so had not actually been punished for the possession.
Corrupt practice for no reason. It's bewildering. What also confused me was the inept way in which many went corrupt. I was fitted up once but there were documents that proved my side, most of which had been completed by other people. I wondered at the time if it was a warning but that would have implied some degree of planning and I saw little of that. The corrupt ones were cowboys.
The publisher who read the book did not believe the story, or rather said that many readers would not believe it which, in my book - see what I did there? - meant she didn't believe it, presumably that the officers would not have tested their fit-up. However, from what I was told, many of the corrupt ones were exposed by such simple methods.
The Countryman officer never got any further than inspector (nor did I but that was for other reasons) the rumour being that he was not considered 'one of us' after being on Countryman. That said, he was used on a number of jobs where trustworthiness was a major requirement, like bagman to someone important.
It was depressing and frustrating, as you say, but, as I said in the book, I was described as 'wide as narrow tape' by one of the bent ones and this put me in a group where there were some real quality officers. I was proud to work with them.
When you see a quality cop in action it really is impressive.