Police Aware of Krays' Threat Years before Notoriety, Documents Reveal
Gray, Chris, The Independent (London, England)
POLICE WERE worried that the Kray twins would extend their rule of violence and intimidation across London four years before their criminal organisation became notorious, confidential documents released yesterday show.
Scotland Yard's Flying Squad was concerned in 1960 that the twins would try to move their fledgling operation in east London into the West End and trigger a war with rival criminal gangs.
An assessment of Ronnie and Reggie Kray's activities was drawn up in May of that year in response to a complaint from the twins' solicitors, Lincoln and Lincoln, that they were being investigated - four years before they came to public attention through press reports about associations with a peer.
Detective Superintendent Tom Butler describes how they had built up a "formidable criminal association" with the Nash family - another gangster fraternity - were poised to expand their activities, and were already attracting media attention.
"They are well known in London's criminal circles as The Twins," he wrote. "They have organised the `protection' technique and the keystones of their confederacy are violence and intimidation. At present this is mainly ... operating in the East End of London. That they will spread their operations to other districts in due course may be taken for granted."
Det Supt Butler said the Krays had succeeded in intimidating prosecution witnesses during a murder trial of one of the Nash family, leading to his acquittal - a verdict that would enhance their "already widespread villainous reputation". …