Notable Events In Week Nine

Ian Curley

Two Seater Swift First Herts Police Car Supt Reed Driving

Hertfordshire Police Historical Society.

This Week In History.

25/02/1978 Times.

Woman’s revenge by arson. A woman who was annoyed because her local newspaper reported her appearance in court on a charge of trying to burn down a hospital, was jailed yesterday for starting fires in the newspaper’s offices. Miss Marianne Cribben, 23, of Breakmead, Welwyn Garden City, pleaded guilty at St Albans Crown Court to 2 charges of arson, of damaging property, and entering the hospital with intent to damage it. She was sent to prison for 15 months. Mr Robert Marshall-Andrews, prosecuting said that Miss Cribben “formed a particular grudge,” against the Welwyn Times newspaper after they covered her court appearance. The hospital concerned he said, was the Queen Elizabeth II in Welwyn Garden City. After an argument there, she had been chased into a basement and a bottle of white inflammable spirit was found in her possession. After the report appeared in the newspaper, Miss Cribben broke into the newspaper offices on a number of occasions. She started two separate fires and damaged property. On one occasion she typed a message to the reporters: “you are a load of bastards.” Mr Christopher Davies, defending, said that the strain on the Miss Cribben of looking after her sick mother had proved too much for her. Judge Marcus Anwyl-Davies told the woman: “no one, merely because they are angry or annoyed, can indulge in the most dangerous activity of all.”

26/2/1969 Times.

Widen the M1. Lieutenant-Colonel Albert Wilcox, the Chief Constable of Hertfordshire yesterday called for the 7 mile “blackspot” length of the M1 between Hemel Hempstead and Watford, the busiest stretch of the motorway, and the only part which does not already have three lanes-to be widened. In a report he says: “it does not seem sensible that the road should be narrowest where the traffic is greatest.”

26/2/1976 Times.

The A405 T Hunton Bridge to Maple Cross was opened on 26/2/1976, and final part of the dual carriageway to Garston was opened on 21/7/1976.

March 1985.

A 17 year old girl, walking home in Watford one evening, was accosted by two youths. They dragged her into an outbuilding of a school and tied her up by placing brown adhesive tape over her mouth. She was then raped by one of the offenders, both of whom later made off. SOCO’s carefully examined the scene and recovered the tape amongst other evidence. This tape was submitted to the Fingerprint Bureau where it was treated with various chemicals to reveal fingerprints. Using a special lamp, these fingerprints were photographed, and following a search the fingerprint was positively identified and the offenders were arrested. They were both convicted at St Albans Crown Court. One was sentenced to 5 years at a detention centre and the rapist to 8 years youth custody. The rapist was subsequently convicted in February 2001 for the murder of Anne Cook in Garston in 2000.

March 1914

Constabulary purchases its first car a Swift cycle car for £119.


Following a short trial, the Force announces the formation of the ARV (Armed Response Vehicles) effective from 1/3/2000 with ten personnel transferred to the new unit.
(General Orders 5 of 2000)

1/3/2000 Commendation.

A Constable from, Rickmansworth Traffic for brave and selfless action in rescuing a man from a burning house in Hayling Road, South Oxhey. (General Order 9 of 2000)

1/3/2000 Computer Investigation Unit.

For the information of all officers a Computer Investigation Unit has been formed within the Force Intelligence Bureau at Headquarters. The Unit will be responsible for the examination and presentation of all computer based evidence. In the first instance officers will be required to submit any application for this type of evidence on a submission form through their respective Detective Chief Inspector. The form should then be forwarded to the Computer Investigation Unit where the feasibility of any request will be assessed. Approval for examination to be carried out will then be sought from a Superintendent within Crime Management. Only cases of a serious nature can be examined at present. (General Order 9 of 2000)

3/3/1851 Times.

Hertfordshire Assizes before Mr Baron Parke, Thomas Saville, 21, Benjamin Hutchin, 22, and Thomas Worman, 22, were indicted for a burglary in the dwelling house of Michael Metcalfe, and stealing some silver spoons and other articles, his property. Mr Rodwell prosecuted and Mr Chambers was for the defence. It appeared that the prosecutor and his wife occupied a cottage at Albury, in this county, and on the night of 24 December they were awoken by hearing a noise in the lower part of the house. The prosecutor got up and upon looking out of the window saw three men standing in front of the cottage. He gave an alarm, and the men making use of very bad language, threatened to shoot him if he was not quiet, and upon his persisting in calling out two guns were fired in the direction in which he was standing. The prosecutor fortunately did not receive any injury, but a quantity of shots were found in the wall close to his bedroom window. Two of the prisoners were positively identified by the prosecutor as having taken part in the outrage, and the guilt of the whole of them was clearly established by other circumstances. The jury without any hesitation returned a verdict of guilty. The learned Judge sentenced all prisoners to be transported for 21 years.

This page was added on 26/02/2020.

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