Tributes paid to Croydon’s, and UK’s, first black policewoman

Tributes have been paid this week to Sislin Fay Allen, Britain’s first black woman police officer, who has died, aged 83.

Trailblazer: Sislin-Fay Alllen

Allen had served as a nurse in Croydon’s Queen’s Hospital before joining the Metropolitan Police in 1968. Her first posting was to the police station then on Fell Road in central Croydon, close to where she lived with her family.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: “We are grateful for your service Sislin, you paved the way for so many others.”

She served in the Met for four years, first in Croydon then at the Missing Persons Bureau, before moving to Jamaica where she continued to work as a police officer.

Lifetime achievement: Sislin-Fay Allen in 2020 at her home in Jamaica

In 2020, Allen received a lifetime achievement award from the National Black Police Association. Andy George, President of the NBPA said: “Her contribution to policing in the United Kingdom cannot be underestimated.

“The courage that trailblazers like her showed in joining the police service allowed others to follow a career in policing.

“We thought it was fitting to name an annual award in her honour to showcase her contribution to policing and to ensure a long-lasting legacy is created in her name to recognise fellow trailblazers in policing today.”

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