Dickie Fingers, who appears on all official records as Richard Hands, is the safecracker whom DCI Gene Hunt needs to talk to in 1974, under orders from his own superior, Harry Woolf. Woolf was Gene's mentor as he came up through the force, and is now on the verge of retirement.
Dickie is a career criminal with ties to crime boss Arnold Malone, so when the transport vehicle, driven by Chris and guarded by Ray and Sam, is hit and run off the road, it's clear this is serious. The prisoner is removed at masked gunpoint, and everything seems to indicate Malone's hand pulling the strings. Dickie is even spotted doing a small-time caper the next day, to check that he's "match fit".
Malone, when dragged into the station, claims he's no part of things, and as a sign of good faith tips the coppers off to a planned blag about to occur and employing Dickie's talents to the full. A sting operation is rapidly mounted, and several would-be thieves, including Dickie, are caught. Dickie, however, refuses to cooperate in the presence of the constantly-threatening DCI Hunt, so Sam is left alone with him. Dickie then reveals that he was broken out not by Malone, who couldn't have arranged for the transfer, but rather by Harry Woolf, who is looking to frame Malone and 'plump up' his own nest egg at the same time.
After Sam and Gene report the claim to Woolf, he says that Malone is trying to stitch him up for corruption, and Gene follows this lead. Unfortunately, Woolf was lying, and he has Dickie killed to prevent him giving testimony. This is the incident that shows Gene it's no longer about bending the rules and getting the job done, and he confronts and arrests Woolf, who Hunt shoots in the leg while apprehending him. Woolf is presumably charged with at least conspiracy in the murder of Dickie Fingers.