This Black History Month, Helen King nominates Sislin Fay Allen, first black woman police officer in the UK, and her former colleague in Merseyside Police and the Metropolitan Police Service, Pat Gallan, who as an Assistant Commissioner was the first black woman to achieve the rank of Chief Constable.
Helen says: “I want to express my respect for these women who overcame stereotyping and prejudice for both their gender and ethnicity whilst serving the public.
I also chose these nominations for Black History Month because it remains essential for effective policing that local communities are confident that officers know and understand their concerns, and officers looking and sounding like the community strengthens this. It is not an easy career choice for anyone, but huge efforts are being made to attract and support greater numbers of ambitious black police officers into forces across the country. Policing needs the skills and talents of officers from all backgrounds, in just the same way as the University of Oxford benefits from attracting the brightest and best from every section of society.”