Tributes to Britain’s first black policewoman after death aged 83

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Britain’s first black policewoman, Sislin Fay Allen, has died at the age of 83, the Metropolitan Police said.

Ms Allen, who joined the Met Police in 1968 aged 29, making her the first black female police officer in the force and the UK, died at her family home in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, on Monday.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick described her as “a pioneer of her time and an inspiration for many” while black former Met superintendent Leroy Logan paid tribute to her as a “remarkable” woman.

Britain’s first coloured policewoman
Sislin Fay Allen was a nurse before joining the police (PA)

Ms Allen was working as a nurse at Croydon’s Queens Hospital when she decided to make a career change after seeing a recruitment advert for male and female officers.

After completing her training, her first posting was at Fell Road police station in Croydon, near to where she lived with her family.

After spending a year at Croydon, she was posted to the Missing Persons Bureau at Scotland Yard and was later transferred to Norbury police station.

Ms Allen resigned from the force in 1972 and returned to Jamaica with her husband and two children.

It was not the end of her policing career as she joined the Jamaica Constabulary.

British Law and Order – Police – Ethnic Minorities – London – 1968
Sislin Fay Allen at the Metropolitan Police Training Centre in Regency Street (Barratt’s/PA)

She later came back to the UK for a brief period and lived in south London before returning to Jamaica for good, where she lived in Ocho Rios.

Dame Cressida said: “Sislin was a pioneer of her time and an inspiration for many when she became the first black female police officer in the Met and the UK. She paved the way for so many women that have followed in her footsteps and joined the Met after her.

“Sislin’s legacy lives on and today we will remember her life and her unique contribution to policing.”

Mr Logan, a former chairman and founding member of the Black Police Association, tweeted: “I know how tough it was for me to join the Met Police in the early 80’s, but it pales into insignificance in comparison to the remarkable Seslin Fay Allen as the 1st UK black female officer in 1968.

“She sadly died today in Jamaica, knowing she’d inspired many others to serve.”

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