Scourge of Soho by Dick Kirby
9781781593509 Pen and Sword
Detective Sergeant Harry Challenor is undoubtedly one of the most controversial policeman of all time. Born into grinding poverty in 1922, Challenor served with the prestigious Special Air Service during World War Two, was parachuted behind enemy lines, was captured twice, escaped twice and was awarded the Military Medal for his bravery. Joining the post-war Metropolitan Police, Challenor began his one-man crime crusade.
After four years with the elite Flying Squad, Challenor was sent to London's West End to clear up crime in Soho. Pimps, racketeers and crooks were rounded-up and often found themselves in possession of a bewildering assortment of armaments of which they denied all knowledge. More sensible gangsters, like Reg and Ron Kray, took off as soon as his name was mentioned.
A reward of GBP1000 was offered by the gang leaders to anyone who could successfully bring sufficiently damaging allegations to have Challenor transferred, but in the end, it was not needed. During a political demonstration in 1963, half-bricks were planted on innocent protesters which resulted in three young policemen being imprisoned and Challenor was certified as being a paranoid schizophrenic and sent to a succession of psychiatric hospitals and care homes. Policeman-turned-author, Dick Kirby, has interviewed former friends and colleagues of Harry Challenor and has meticulously studied court records and official documents to write the sensational and extraordinary story of the man whom became The Scourge of Soho.