Rory Rogerson is 67; an overweight, unfit, retired ‘protection officer’ (that’s PC for hired muscle). He is also a prolific and, by his own reckoning, successful author of crime fiction.
Penny (60) is his headmistress wife and Charlie Watkiss is the bloke next door.
Together, they make a formidable team!
Rory (ret’d). Chapter eleven, part three.
Charlie couldn’t make it before eight o’clock so we had to do it the following morning. Predictably, when I outlined my idea to him, his objections mirrored my wife’s. They were, after all, the most logical response to my plan. The trouble was that there was no way to test the plan other than to run with it and see what happens. The only way to find out how Mr E would react to the approach was to make it and see.
I asked Charlie if the police had any profiling tools that could predict his response based on what we knew about him. He confirmed that there was a tool like that, but it was generally regarded as of limited use except where the subject was known to the extent that similar suggestions had been put to him, or to other people with a closely matching profile that could be used as a basis for modelling. Sadly, we knew very little about Mr E.
“Let’s look at what we do know,” I said, “We know he is at least vicariously violent. We don’t know if he uses violence himself but we do know that he uses others to do violence for him. Evidence? Your car for one. We also know, from the same incident, that he is prepared to take life to further his aims. We know that he or his minions have access to advanced technology or technological expertise and we know that he is prepared to use blackmail and/or threats to cause others to do his dirty work. We also believe that he has a soft spot, if not for all youngsters, at least for Alan Sutton. Putting that together—”
“We have a typical gangland boss,” Charlie said, “but how can we use that to predict how he will react to your suggestion?”
“I think you pass the scenario, or an approximation of it, through the profiling software using as your subject—”
“A known gang boss! That’s brilliant, Rory. There are plenty of them to choose from, not only restricted to this area—”
“Or this force. The Met should have a lot of detailed profiling data on crime overlords from the Krays onwards. Can you access that sort of information?”
“Hey… This is Charlie Watkiss you’re talking to, Rory. Can I access it? Of course I can. Question is, how long can you give me?”
“Good question. I suppose I can give you until a couple of days before Mr E starts to lean on us.”
“Isn’t that a bit like saying take the tablets half an hour before the pain starts?”
“So you want me to rush this through—”
“As fast as your little legs will carry you.”
“On it,” Charlie said as he rushed out of the door.
So. That was all agreed. Now to start setting up RRW Investigations Ltd. Fortunately, it’s very easy these days, there are on-line outfits that specialise in setting up companies quickly and efficiently. I filled in the forms, giving all the information they needed and waited for a response.
Within a very few minutes, RRW Investigations Ltd was a reality with a company number, list of directors and officers, mission statement and aims and objects. It had, as its registered office, this address and a brass plaque had been ordered. All the other stuff I needed to do to establish it was relatively straightforward, the only sticking point being to get the license. I had made an approach to the authority that licenses private investigators and given them details of my background as well as Penny’s and Charlie’s, making it clear that Penny’s role as Company Secretary would not involve her directly in the investigative work – there was a risk that her position as head teacher could be compromised were she registered as a private investigator. I just needed to wait for them to come back to me with their list of things we needed to do to get the license. In the meantime, we could trade as a business but not take on any clients for investigative work.
Charlie wasn’t surprised at any of this, but suggested that some of his senior contacts in the police force could vouch for him and, of course, some of the senior detectives I’d worked with when researching background for my books would probably be able to speak for me, too. Goodness, I even went out on live cases with some of them – purely as an observer, of course. Whether any of this would help with our application to the authority, I couldn’t say, but it would make sure we had the police on our side.
That afternoon, Charlie came back to tell me that his most senior police contact – he wouldn’t tell me who it was or at what rank – was delighted at the development and looked forward, when we get our licenses, to using us to fill the gaps in their resources for some basic spadework. Financially, it wouldn’t do a thing for us; in terms of our reputation, it would give us a major boost.