By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, LONDON, England, Tues. July 6, 2021: The first Black and Caribbean woman to serve as a cop in Britain has died at the age of 83.
Jamaican-born Sislin Fay Allen, who joined the Metropolitan Police in 1968 and was the first black policewoman in Britain confirmed on February 15, 1968., died in, Jamaica, Sky News reports indicate.
A statement from her family said: “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.”
Last year, she was given a special award for her accomplishments by the National Black Police Association in celebration of Black History Month.
Mrs. Allen joined the Metropolitan Police in 1968. She applied while she was working as a nurse at Queens Hospital in Croydon, south London.
Within weeks she was invited for an interview and was selected. “On the day I joined I nearly broke a leg trying to run away from reporters,” she told an interviewer soon after. “I realized then that I was a history maker. But I didn’t set out to make history; I just wanted a change of direction.”
After training at Peel House, she was posted to Fell Road police station in Croydon, where she lived, on 29 April 1968, aged 29. She says she experienced more prejudice from the black community than from her colleagues or from white people in Croydon. Allen has said in the past she was met largely with curiosity and considerable interest from the media, although the Metropolitan Police did receive some racist mail about her appointment.
The threatening and abusive letters she received when she started working at Fell Road made her consider whether she wanted to remain in the force. After a year in Croydon, she was posted to the Missing Persons Bureau at Scotland Yard for a while before being transferred back to the beat at Norbury police station.
She resigned from the Met in 1972, to return to Jamaica with her family. There she joined the Jamaica Constabulary Force. Eventually she returned to England and lived in South London before re-migrating to Ocho Rios, Jamaica where she died on July 5th.