Road rage killer Kenneth Noye offers to help expose police corruption
One of Britain’s most notorious and dangerous criminals has made an unexpected call for a public inquiry into police corruption, claiming the Met cannot truly reform unless the public understands the nature of the problem.
Kenneth Noye, a convicted murderer, who was also jailed for his role in the Brink’s-Mat gold bullion robbery, spent decades operating as a police informant and had alleged links to dozens of corrupt officers.
The 75-year-old, who was once the country’s most wanted man and has spent almost half of his life in prison, said he would be willing to give evidence to an inquiry to help the Metropolitan Police restore its reputation following a series of scandals.
Noye, who stabbed a police officer to death in 1986 and later carried out a road rage murder, would not be the most welcome public commentator on police standards.
But the violent gangster claims that listening to those who were involved in police corruption is the best way to understand it and prevent it happening in the future.
He has called for fellow criminals, and corrupt officers who operated before the year 2000, to be granted immunity in order to speak candidly at a public inquiry about their prior criminal actions.
The character of Noye features in the upcoming BBC drama, Gold, about the Brink’s-Mat heist with him being played by Jack Lowden and there is also a book coming out about his time on the run following the road rage murder of Stephen Cameron in 1996.
Speaking to the authors of the book, Donal MacIntyre and Karl Howman, Noye said it was time for an open and honest debate about criminality in the police.
He said: “You’ll never get to the truth because no one wants to go to jail. But if you want to understand corruption then you must be able to talk about it without the risk of prosecution.”
Noye claimed that 50 years ago corrupt police officers could be tempted to turn a blind eye for the price of a holiday.
He said: “Back in the 70s a minor crime would be disappeared or resolved with a £1,000 or £1,500 bung, but if it was a big job then you are talking much more.
“Then, a grand was a lot of money. In the era of Life on Mars – there was a lot of fitting up and a lot of money given to keep out of jail.
“If you were lifted for an armed robbery that pulled half a million, then you might have to pay £50k. That was the rule then."
He went on: “Officers can turn a blind eye, they might lose files, find evidence, lose evidence. Small mistakes or deliberate mistakes by police officers can have a big impact and that is as much about letting criminals off as fitting some up.
“Essentially, most officers are corruptible. It depends on their needs, some might need money, some love and others a car."
He added: “Although it is better than the 70s and 80s, I would estimate that about 15 per cent of the Metropolitan Police Force is corrupt.”
James Treadwell, professor of criminology at Staffordshire University, who has also interviewed Noye for academic research, agreed that a public inquiry would help clear the air and address some of the suspicion around corruption.
“No offender has been more associated with police corruption…and he is the one offender who can speak about bent police officers with authority,” he said. “Undoubtedly, corruption was for him a business decision.”
But former detective inspector Ian Brown, who helped bring Noye to justice for his role in laundering some of the proceeds of the Brink’s-Mat raid, said there was little to be gained by listening to ageing criminals.
He said: “We need to build a police force that is incorruptible. What does it matter what happened 30 years ago?
“The key is to start afresh right now. The reality is that only criminals will testify but no officers will."
Former detective inspector Nick Biddiss, a retired former officer with Kent Police who helped secure Noye’s conviction for the murder of Mr Cameron said: “I could not countenance any immunity for corrupt police officers. They must be held to a higher standard, but I would not be against some kind of immunity for criminals who have corrupted officers.”
A Million Ways to Stay on the Run, by Donal MacIntyre and Karl Howman, will be published next month.