Douglas Webb — Shutterbug for the Heavy Mob (The Sweeney)

Pamela Green’s partner Douglas Webb worked for Euston Films in the 1970s on such shows as The Sweeney and Special Branch as a stills photographer. The Sweeney was the epitome of the 1970s hard-boiled cop shows. It ran for 52 episodes over four years. Two feature films were also made. They were grittier than the TV series, featuring levels of violence, sex and nudity that would not have been possible on British television at the time.

The programme’s title derives from Sweeney Todd, which is Cockney rhyming slang for “Flying Squad” aka “Heavy Mob”, a branch of the Serious and Organised Crime Command within London’s Metropolitan Police Service. The squad’s purpose is to investigate commercial armed and unarmed robberies, along with the prevention and investigation of other serious crime.  Plagued by a number of scandals involving bribery and corruption the squad’s commander in 1977, was convicted on five counts of corruption and imprisoned for eight years. Twelve other officers were also convicted and many more resigned.

The following picture was taken from an original set of negatives shot by Douglas Webb in Margrave Studios for The Sweeney. Other than that I don’t know much about it. I’m told the model is Jenny Runacre. Don’t know the episode or film it was for. If there are any fans out there, who can fill in the blanks, get in touch.

Doug Webb he Sweeney. TV show
Jenny Runacre by Douglas Webb for The Sweeney. Taken in Margrave Studios.

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5 thoughts on “Douglas Webb — Shutterbug for the Heavy Mob (The Sweeney)

  1. Might this be a publicity still for REGAN, the 1974 television movie (shown as part of ARMCHAIR CINEMA) which served as the pilot for THE SWEENEY? Or perhaps one of the two spin-off theatrical releases, SWEENEY! (1977) and SWEENEY 2 (1978)? The model does look rather like Susan Valentine, who played a secretary in the first of those movies, as ‘Susan Skipper’.

  2. Looks like Jenny Runacre – She seems to have been in Sweeney Season 4 episode 8 – ‘The Bigger They Are’

  3. I’ve got this episode on the box set! I remember it being more saucey than usual. The model is the wonderful actress Jenny Runacre, in my opion has always been at the front of British subculture/ alternative cinema. So many titles Jubilee 1978, Goodbye, Mr. Chips 1969, Pasolini’s The Canterbury Tales 1972, Nick Roegs The Witches…

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