Protection Rackets in the 1980's West End?

JoeCivvie

ADC
RIP
Back in the 80's I spent a lot of time and money in the Cork & Bottle in Cranbourne Street.

One of the managers told me that they paid protection, and that every bar and business in the West End paid protection to one of three groups - the East End gangs, the Maltese or the Met. AS long as you paid one you would be left alone by the others.

I'd thought protection had died out with the Crays and Richardsons. I know that there are plenty of ex/serving OB here, and probably a fair few from the other side of the law. Can anyone tell me if this was true, or was it all porkies?
 
A Lad I knew was in the Para TA (in Leicester I think) in the late 70s. He was reputedly an enforcer down that end of town.

I saw him a couple of years ago and he didn't look good. A raging alcoholic, he was walking with a stick. apparently someone had a go at him with an iron bar.

footnote: small world - this lad borrowed a tape off me. I never got it back. Decades later I am on the parade ground at the Royal military college Duntroon in Australia. The drill sergeant has para wings. (Sergeant Haddock?) We get chatting, and he knew my mate Carl. 'I still have a tape he lent me somewhere" the Sergeant says. Yep - it was my tape.
 
I'd be stunned if they went away. Protection rackets are an easily formed and difficult to destroy way of getting money, particularly if you have, or have access to, a large enough pool of morally ambivalent people. They will have evolved over time, but they'll still be around in one form or another.
 
Still happens but in different ways. Pubs and clubs have to use certain door staff and security patrols, Cafe's/ fast food use certain suppliers etc. Bit like the mafia in the US. Consequences are more subtle as well. I have known clubs have smoke alarms and exits damaged then have inspections. Fast food joints have several complaints in short order and inspections. Violence is still used but not very often.
 
Still happens but in different ways. Pubs and clubs have to use certain door staff and security patrols, Cafe's/ fast food use certain suppliers etc. Bit like the mafia in the US. Consequences are more subtle as well. I have known clubs have smoke alarms and exits damaged then have inspections. Fast food joints have several complaints in short order and inspections. Violence is still used but not very often.

In 2006 up in jockland a (legit) guy who used to run a club/pub door security company, decided he was going to start another one, Just about the same time a new national company was gaining a lot of business. He got shot twice in the legs on his front door step. No one was arrested for it.

He started a cleaning company instead.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
In 2006 up in jockland a (legit) guy who used to run a club/pub door security company, decided he was going to start another one, Just about the same time a new national company was gaining a lot of business. He got shot twice in the legs on his front door step. No one was arrested for it.

He started a cleaning company instead.

... an acquaintance of my missus came up with a new industrial cleaning product which knocked spots of the available options, and he was able to manufacture it at a price which also blew the competition away.

He got a couple of visits from people who, almost in passing, mentioned the name of a large, 'respectable' competitor with national interests, and who suggested that putting his product on the market was a very, very bad idea indeed. He took the hint.
 
Hmm

White suit.jpg
 

Drivers_lag

On ROPS
On ROPs
Back in the 80's I spent a lot of time and money in the Cork & Bottle in Cranbourne Street.

One of the managers told me that they paid protection, and that every bar and business in the West End paid protection to one of three groups - the East End gangs, the Maltese or the Met. AS long as you paid one you would be left alone by the others.

I'd thought protection had died out with the Crays and Richardsons. I know that there are plenty of ex/serving OB here, and probably a fair few from the other side of the law. Can anyone tell me if this was true, or was it all porkies?

Reading about just this a few times and I gather it changed from 'protection' (pay up or I'll smash your pub) to local heavies or Guv'nor's such as Lennie McLean 'putting their name on the door', which may or may not have included the use of his booncers - if he had any.

Bouncers would take care of any day to day bovver and Lennie himself would see it as an affront to his reputation, should the bar fall victim to any local extortion rackets. Particularly if the perps were people who should know better.

Lenny McLean covered it in his book. 'The Guv'nor', which isn't actually a bad read.
 
In the mid 80`s me and the Mrs managed a nightclub in Harrogate called Legends.

I`d just got back from the Middle East and needed a short term solution to my lack of job while signing on. :1:

Any apprentice scaleybacks residing at Penny Pot Lane at the time should know it.:party:

Anyway, being quite new to the Harrogate nightclub scene, we weren`t aware that a local family of thugs called "De Pledge" (real name) had the monopoly for supplying doormen in the town and much to our regret we had employed our own. We had nothing but trouble from day one. Fights would break out all over the place at the same time (staged) and the doormen were beaten up regularly.

The fuzz weren`t interested when we called them and although they did eventually respond it was usually too late to do owt .

One night a gang of yuthes ripped up a large wooden bench from the gardens opposite and proceeded to ram the door with it. Everybody was shit scared `cept for me as I`d been to NI a few years earlier and just stayed in the kitchen upstairs supping some vino.:sleepy:
 

ACAB

LE
three groups - the East End gangs, the Maltese or the Met. AS long as you paid one you would be left alone by the others.

Nah, nowadays, thanks to our wonderful diverse and multicultural society we have Chinese Snakeheads, Turks, Turkish Cypriots, Kurds (I think the youth wing is called the Banderos or similar) and prostitution sewn up by the Albanians. There are also Asian crime gangs as well. I think all the Old Style East London Crime Syndicates have moved to Essex coz it's safer.
 

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