Sislin Fay Allen, Britain's first black policewoman dies in Jamaica

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News of the passing of Sislin Fay Allen, 83, marks the departure of a woman who has frequently been described as a heroine, a pioneer and a reference point for black women within law enforcement. 

She became Britain's first black policewoman when she joined the Met police in 1968. A statement from Allen's family read: 

“It is with deep sorrow that we announce the death of her beloved mother, Sislin.”

"She passed away at her home in Jamaica, Ocho Rios. As the first black female police officer in the Metropolitan police force, she not only paved the way for so many other minority and female officers, she set the bar.

"We thank everyone for all their support."

Last year had seen renewed interest in the life and legacy of Sislin Fay Allen. She received a lifetime achievement award to commemorate the passing of more than 50 years since she made history. 

Upon receiving the reward, she said: “I am really humbled by it all. I want to thank everyone in policing who has given me this.

"It has been such a long time but it is better to be late than never. I remain happy that I did what I did."

World over, as the relationship between black individuals and law enforcement came under the microscope, so too did the story of how a nurse studying at Queen's hospital in Croydon, South London, transitioned into policing and paved the way for those that followed.

This, of course, was at a time when many public institutions still ostracized black people from their doorsteps.

I know how tough it was for me to join the Met police in the early 80s, 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.

Leroy Logan

Family commitments meant that she would resign from the Metropolitan Police in 1972, however, this did not stop her from continuing down the same path in her husband’s birth country of JamaicaNevertheless, Sislin Fay Allen’s four years as a trailblazing presence in policing will be marked eternally. 

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