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Aug 08

Braybrook Street, W12

Braybrook Street is a residential road on the Old Oak council estate bordering Wormwood Scrubs and Wormwood Scrubs prison, first laid out in the 1920s.

The 1966 Massacre of Braybrook Street, involved the murder of three police officers in London by Harry Roberts and two others.

The officers had stopped to question the three occupants of a car waiting on Braybrook Street, near Wormwood Scrubs prison. Roberts shot dead Temporary Detective Constable David Wombwell and Detective Sergeant Christopher Head, whilst John Duddy, another occupant in the vehicle, shot dead Police Constable Geoffrey Fox.

The three suspects went on the run, initiating a large manhunt. All three were eventually arrested and subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment.

The murders caused outrage in the United Kingdom and there were calls for the reintroduction of the recently abolished death penalty and for an increase in the number of police officers trained to use firearms. The Metropolitan Police Firearms Wing was established soon after the incident.

Public sympathy for the families of the victims resulted in the establishment of the Police Dependants’ Trust to assist the welfare of families of British police officers who have died in the line of duty.

Six hundred Metropolitan Police officers lined the route of the three victims’ funeral procession in Shepherd’s Bush and a memorial service in Westminster Abbey was attended by Prime Minister Harold Wilson, Leader of the Opposition Edward Heath and many other dignitaries, as well as thousands of police officers from all over the country. More than one thousand members of the public stood in mourning outside the Abbey. Holiday camp owner Billy Butlin donated £250,000 to a new Police Dependants’ Trust, and it had soon raised more than £1 million.

In 1988 the Police Memorial Trust established a stone memorial to the three officers at the site of the incident in Braybrook Street.



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