June 2017 - The Way Back Home Tour

As readers of my Tropical City Discs column will know, my family moved around a lot when I was young.

I decided that I'd celebrate that - with a seminar tour taking in some of the places that formed me...

You can find full details of the seminar at www.financialcrimeforum.com. Below, something about the places I'll visit on the tour.

The seminars take in London, Birmingham, Chesterfield, Preston and Stockton on Tees. There are other places that I could add:

Wolverhampton, Chester, a couple of places in Essex but they are close to existing venues and there's no point in eating my own market. In the middle of the tour, there's a personal side-trip into Herefordshire where I'll be catching up with people I seem to have got into the habit of seeing once a year. This year, however, unlike each of the past two years, it won't be for a funeral!

For most of the venues, within an hour's drive, I've got populations of approaching two million and, of course, in London and Birmingham there are more. This is interesting: https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/interactive/2013/aug/01/every-...

I'm looking for interesting venues, or places that mean something to me. But don't worry: I'm not going to put the Chesterfield event in Edale, although it's very tempting to spend a couple of days there, almost half-a-century after I used to pull on my boots and head for Jacob's Ladder. Oddly, even today, in 35 degrees C, I'm more likely to be clumping around Kuala Lumpur, where I live, in a pair of decent boots than the flip flops that so many Malaysians wear.

For Preston, I think we'll go between the town and the M6. You think it's because of easy access to the million or so people within 40km to the south but it's because there's a place I used to stop for a break before setting off, my father driving because if I drove, I scared him by driving quickly on the hill-roads, on the trans-Pennine trek back to the North East.

In Stockton, oddly, when I went back a few months ago, there was almost nothing I recognised. The burnt out church were I was in the choir and we used to hold chats for the town's young people about the relevance of modern music and literature is still burnt out and the High Street has died and looks like it. But there is still some semblance of my old life there: the old bank that became the offices of a law firm that I started my career in is still there and next to it is the hotel that as a teenager I used to sit in the bar, suited and booted, to meet assorted girls in what has developed into "the ten minute rule" bar: that concept has stood me in good stead over the years.

In London, we'll end up in the City or Bloomsbury: the bits where I'm at home (although I was never wealthy enough to live there, at least not in the kind of comfort I like) but where I worked and really liked. I won't compel you to eat at my favourite chippy London chippy but we might end up in a mate's restaurant for lunch if I choose somewhere within walking distance of the place.

In Birmingham, I really have no idea as yet. The last time I went to the Bull Ring I was shocked by how unkempt it had become. I have some lithographs of Victorian Brum in my TV room: perhaps I'll see if any of those bits are still nice enough to hold the event in.

The Seminar is all about understanding suspicion in financial crime and how and why we do, and don't, identify it and do and don't act on our suspicions.

Of course, in post senior level officers will find it invaluable but so will investigators from criminal and revenue departments and, of course, regulators. Prosecution and defendant lawyers will gain insight into things they simply will not have imagined relevant.

It's fascinating, stimulating and sometimes bemusing. And it will make you do your job better.

I'm more than happy to take commissions to present it in-house or if professional bodies would like me to present it to their members, I'm happy to do that, too.

Saunter over to www.financialcrimeforum.to find out more, then send me a message via the "Contact Me" button here.

I look forward to welcoming you on my "Way Back Home" tour this June.

Bring your brains. You'll need them. Everything else will be provided.