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The police got their stripes


“Because of the authority’s attitude (to homosexuality), I mean, there were agents provocateurs and there were entrapments all the time right through the fifties and sixties.  It was monstrous some of the things they got up to. I’m aware of whole cruising areas being emptied, a bit like the Jews and the Nazis, and put into vans and taken off and, of course, publicly shamed because all the names are always mentioned by the newspapers, they used to love that.  When the Wolfenden Report was sorted out and it became legal for two guys, I wish we could have had some sort of reprise where a lot of these people could have been brought up in front of the authorities because I feel that they were doing their job a bit like the Nazis were in the prison camps, and I think a lot of them should have been brought to task especially as a lot of them were outright gays anyway. I still feel bad about that, nobody was ever brought to task and these police used to run around rubbing their hands because they would get their stripes for so many prosecutions and so many arrests and I feel that a lot of them should have been brought up in front of the beak and told to explain the way they made a living and I feel bad about that even today.”

Contributed by: Robin McGarry, 66

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