COVERT POLICING AND SPECIALIST OPERATIONS: FOR USE IN CRIME WRITING


AN INTRODUCTION TO COVERT POLICING AND SPECIALIST OPERATIONS: FOR USE IN CRIME WRITING BY ROGER A. PRICE

COVERT POLICING AND SPECIALIST OPERATIONS – FOR USE IN CRIME WRITING


Hello crime fiction fans, my name is Roger A. Price crime fighter turned crime writer.

I am a retired detective inspector who had been in charge of a covert unit, which received national acclaim for its successes in engaging those who openly sold Class A drugs.

Prior to this, I’d been in charge of the C.I.D. at Preston, having first led a dedicated informant unit. I also worked on murders, drugs squads, and the regional and national crime squads, often in covert roles across the UK, Europe and the Far East, receiving several commendations.

ROGER A. PRICE

Author: Roger A. Price

As you know there are plenty of excellent crime fiction novels written by ex-detectives out there; Nick Oldham to name but one. Though you don’t have to be ex-old bill to write crime fiction, as fans of Stephen Leather and Mark Billingham will testify. I love both their works but I guess they have to do so much more research. So, when I swopped the badge for a pen, I decided to draw from my covert experiences to inspire my writing. I knew I had to be careful not to give too much away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a bit of fun.

COVERT POLICING AND SPECIALIST OPERATIONS

So, what is meant by ‘Covert Policing’ and more narrowly, ‘Special Ops’? Well anything sneaky comes under the umbrella of covert policing. The use of informants, surveillance – both physical and technical - such as bugs and telephone taps. Or the use of undercover officers.

‘Special ops’ means the use of undercover officers; and that means specially trained officers as opposed to just detectives in plain clothes. They have to pass rigorous selection and on going psychometric evaluations. They come in all shapes and sizes, in all purported walks of life, and have real backstories that will stand any scrutiny.

Sometimes, they are used for quick jobs, such as drug bust-buys, or can be used on long term infiltration operations. All deployments are fully risk assessed based on the known. It’s the unknown that often proves to be the tricky bit. For the crime writer though, it does provide a wealth of characters to draw from. But don’t feel limited by the stereotypes, such as drug dealers, or wagon drivers; let your imagination go.

In real life, if I had been planning a ‘Special Ops’ tactic to assist in an investigation, the test often comes from how abstract one can be. After all, the bad guys know undercover officers exit, and not all situations are doable with the tactic. For example – if in your novel, you wish to infiltrate an established crime family who only deal with people they have known ‘criminally’ for many years, then a direct approach from a stranger just isn’t going to work.

However, what if the chauffeur has a warrant out for his arrest for outstanding traffic violations? Or the gardener turns out to be in the country illegally? The good guys could orchestrate the tactical removal of said employee only to provide a replacement, who could be our undercover operative.

Imagine in your story where your gardener or cleaner was wandering around the household hidden in plain sight! Seen but never noticed. What havoc they could run, collecting evidence, planting listening devices or whatever else the officer leading the investigation requires.

All great fun for a writer, and if you enjoy writing it, there is a very good chance readers will enjoy reading it.

There are many excellent novels, and films and TV shows that use surveillance and informants in their stories and these come under the wider umbrella of the phrase ‘covert policing’ which, as I alluded to at the beginning really is just a catch all phrase. I particularly love Spooks, Life on Mars and the Sweeney to name but a few – in fact when the Sweeny first came out, breaking new ground as it did – some of the real Sweeney asked John Thaw and Denis Waterman to ‘tone it down a bit, too near the knuckle, givin’ the missis nightmares’.

But all good grist for the avid crime writer and reader. Especially when it comes to the use of informants! Bless them; used by the good guys and hated by the bad. You always have to remember that most informants are petty criminals themselves, otherwise they wouldn’t be operating in the right circles – or should that be the ‘wrong’ circles!

In real life you would not authorise the use of an individual as an informant – or Covert Human Intelligence Source, to give them their official title – if you were going to increase their criminality or put them in danger – but they are no fools. Often with their own agendas, this is all great for a crime writer.

During my library talks I try to emphasise the above with a few anecdotes, such as when once an informant met his handlers in a car that just looked too nice for him. As he drove away from the meeting the officers checked the car number plate to discover it that the car had been nicked thirty minutes earlier; as was the informant thirty minutes later.

By Their Rules by Roger A Price

By Their Rules by Roger A Price

I tried to mix touches of reality with lots of informed imagination in writing my first novel, ‘BY THEIR RULES’ where undercover tactics, listening devices, phone taps and informants all get a run out with surveillance too. In the real world the use of covert tactics are – rightly so – scrutinised and tightly controlled. In my fictional world there are no rules of engagement. My protagonists are playing by their – the antagonists’ – rules.

It has been well received and attracted some great reviews, of which I am very proud.

Its sequel entitled, ‘A NEW MENACE’, is out on 23rd October 2014 and the same good guys face a new and unprecedented challenge – the criminals kidnap a police employee and hold the cops to ransom. The cheek of it!

A New Menace by Roger A Price

A New Menace by Roger A Price

Newly retired from the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, John Burrows is shocked to be called back by his old bosses for one last job. And not just any job – he’s on the tail of his old adversary, the infamous Jonny Moon, a dangerous and volatile criminal who will stop at nothing to get his way. When a civilian is kidnapped and tortured by Moon’s associates after a botched surveillance operation, Burrows knows he’s in deep water. Not only must he track down Moon, and deal with a mole in the ranks – he must do all this without Moon finding out who he is. Or who his partner, Jane Lee, is – the officer who, last time they met, showed him that he’s not invincible. A New Menace is a taut thriller, an exciting tale of covert surveillance, lies, deception and double agents.
Click the book for Amazon USA, for the UK click Amazon UK .

So our secret heroes John Burrows and Jane Lee are once again put into the field to find and release the hostage, and then remove the bad guys – permanently. But as you may guess, things don’t exactly go to plan.

I’ve written both books so that they can be read in any order, so I hope you’ll be tempted to read either or both.

I hope you enjoyed my little view into the arcane world of Covert Policing and Special Ops, and remember; it’s as wide as your imagination.

Please stay in touch via:

TWITTER: @RAPriceAuthor
FACEBOOK: Roger A Price Author Page
LINKEDIN: Roger A Price
WEBSITE: www.rogerapriceauthor.com
‘By Their Rules’ and ‘A New Menace’ are available through any bookshop, or via on line sellers –

By Their Rules by Roger A Price

By Their Rules ISBN-10: 1843867540 ISBN-13: 978-1843867548
Kindle ASIN : B00HQLSRR4

A New Menace by Roger A Price

A New Menace ISBN-10: 1843869462 ISBN-13: 978-1843869467

AN INTRODUCTION TO COVERT POLICING AND SPECIALIST OPERATIONS: FOR USE IN CRIME WRITING BY ROGER A. PRICE

Thank you for having me
Please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the page.
Best Regards Roger.

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Hello crime fiction fans, my name is Roger A. Price crime fighter turned crime writer. I am a retired detective inspector who had been in charge of a covert unit, which received national acclaim for its successes in...

By Their Rules by Roger A Price

A new, ruthless and implacable mastermind from Africa has surfaced in gangland, carrying out his darkest deeds in the murky grey shadows of London’s back streets. But, following the multiple slaughter of a large number of policemen by this monster, and his intention to commit further atrocious crimes, the challenge has to be met. The result is that this reign of terror is likely to have catastrophic consequences so emergency action is imperative.

Together, Lee and Burrows form a...



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