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Celebrating Karpal Kaur Sandhu's legacy

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The UK's first female Asian police officer has been remembered by the Met with a room at the Peel Centre
3 mins read
The late Police Constable Karpal Kaur Sandhu

The legacy of trailblazing police constable Karpal Kaur Sandhu has been marked with a classroom dedicated to her memory.

PC Karpal Sandhu was the first female Asian and Sikh police officer in the UK. She joined London's Metropolitan Police 50 years ago, serving from 1971 until she was killed in the line of duty in 1973.

The Karpal Kaur Sandhu Room has been created by the Met as a tribute to her legacy in the Peel Centre, Hendon. New force recruits will now learn about the qualities and courage required of police officers in a room dedicated to a woman who had both. 

Seeing my mother honoured in this way has made me feel extremely proud to be her daughter. My family and I appreciate the Met in keeping my mother’s policing legacy alive for future generations to come.

Karpal Kaur Sandhu's daughter

The room dedication took place during National Inclusion Week and coincided with a passing out parade for new recruits beginning their journey in the Met.

The ceremony was opened by Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball and conducted by Reverend Jonathan Osborne. Also in attendance was Assistant Commissioner Matt Jukes and Ravjeet Gupta, chair of the Metropolitan Police Sikh Association (MPSA).

PC Karpal Kaur Sandhu showed bravery and courage during her service, which is the epitome of being a great police officer.

Dedicating a room to her is a fitting and permanent way in which to honour her and to inspire all those who come to Hendon for learning and development.

Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball

PC Karpal Kaur was a trailblazer and pioneer in her own right. She was the first female police officer in the western world, if not globally, coming from a Sikh and Asian background.

Sikh officers and staff celebrate her achievement in entering a very different world in the 1970s with the vision to helping others and making a difference in line with Sikh values of Sarbat Da Bhala (equal welfare for all beings).

Ravjeet Gupta, chair of the MPSA

Karpal's life is also commemorated in the UK Police Memorial.  

  • Image supplied courtesy of London Metropolitan Police
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