We spent time with family business Director Steve Gaskin on his journey from Scotland Yard Detective to Director of Team Building & Team Development Company Right Angle Corporate Ltd.
Why did you get into CSI? What attracted you?
Following a great career in the Met Police I re-trained as a teacher, I ended up as head of learning and skills in the prison service. The combination of policing and education brought me to this point but I found it was a world I didn’t particularly want to remain into I was thinking of what I could do to run my own business. Initially I was teaching maths, hence the company being called ‘Right Angle’, but very quickly I found people kept asking me what it was really like to undertake an investigation. That was the spark of the idea to give people the opportunity to have an experience but with decent outcomes.
Was there a moment when you were a kid that you decided it’s what you want to do? Any good anecdotes?
My father was a policeman and living in central London and hearing his stories, I was determined that I was going to join the police. But where he was a uniform officer, I always wanted to be in the CID. To be a detective was everything I hoped for. I even left behind a girlfriend in France to come back and join, she wanted me to stay in France but I was so determined.
What did you get from it?
It would be hard to find a job that was so varied, everything from big adrenaline hits with the excitement to mind numbing periods of surveillance. I turned from a boy into a man, I extended my knowledge both academically (became a graduate etc), but also of life generally both good and bad. My specialism for many years was in relation to drugs and money laundering. The mental agility required in thinking like ‘the baddies’ was brain stretching and thought provoking.
What do people like about the events you put on now – what attracts people to this kind of thing?
TV in the UK includes an endless diet of crime programmes, people are fascinated by investigation and the criminal mind, I think it is those aspects that attracts people to the type of events that we run. We have won awards for team building event of the year.
The flexibility of the events from ‘intelligent jollies’ to formalised team building and team development makes them an attractive proposition to many of our clients as they have measurable outcomes.
What are the misconceptions about the job? Do people think it’s like the TV?
Many people think it’s like the TV that all CID DCI’s are grumpy, swear at everybody and are ‘plod’, the reality is very different in terms of education, intellect and finely homed interpersonal skills.
What memorable moments did you have?
There are so many it is difficult to mention just one. From undercover work to following drug money from the UK, to Jamaica and the States, probably feature quite highly. Being involved in the arrest of Johnny Rotten from the Sex Pistols, to searching Buckingham Palace looking for an intruder and the Queen asking us to hurry up, all are part of wonderful memories.
What are the best things and worst?
The best things must be the variety and excitement, and the worst being the distress of victims and ‘man’s inhumanity to man’.
What memories do you have from running the company now?
Since starting the company there have been so many interesting things. Going from the public services to the world of the entrepreneur certainly took me up a large learning curve. I have met some amazing people, worked with wonderful companies including Toyota, TUI, Iceland, Gumtree, Suzuki, Intu etc, won awards, had media coverage, learnt about the world of digital marketing and employed a great team of people.
What advice would you have for anyone wanting to do the same career?
Policing or business? In truth for both, I would give the same advice, go for it, be determined, hold on to your integrity, care about other people and enjoy yourself.
For more information - Steve was in the Metropolitan Police for 25 Years and has been an Adviser to BBC's Silent Witness. Steve also runs motivational and after dinner talks from the family events business. Please contact the team via their website here