Len “Nipper” Read the copper who jailed the Kray twins dies aged 95

Len “Nipper” Read, the policeman who put the Kray twins behind bars, has died. He was aged 95.

Read was a Detective Superintendent in the Metropolitan police.

He was brought in to break up the Krays’ gang empire.

The Metropolitan Police Heritage Centre said:

“We are sad to announce that Leonard ‘Nipper’ Read QPM died this morning aged 95.

“A Met legend, he is best known for his part in bringing the Kray Twins to justice and his autobiographies hold places of honour in our collections.”

The Krays

The Krays – Ronnie and Reggie – were notorious gangsters in London’s East End.

They ruthlessly ruled their patch through murder and brutal beatings.

However, they were also sought-after celebrities – often seen in their West End clubs with international stars.

They were “friends” to influential politicians and senior police officers.

DS Read – called “Nipper” because he barely touched 5ft 9in – was seen as an “untouchable” who would not fall under the gaze and glamour of the Krays.

He ended their reign of terror in 1968 by arresting the twins for murder.

In 1966 Ronnie shot dead George Cornell at the Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel after he’d called him a “fat poof”

And, the following year the twins stabbed to death Jack ‘the Hat’ McVitie.

Both were convicted of murder and jailed for life.


About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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