Training centre honours first Black female police officer in the UK
Our new Sislin Fay Allen training centre has been named in honour of the first Black female police constable in the UK.
Sislin Fay Allen (1938-2021) – sometimes known as Fay Allen – was the UK's first female police constable from an ethnic minority group. She served in the Metropolitan Police Service in London from 1968 to 1972.
Sislin trained at Peel House, the former Met training school. Her first posting was at Fell Road police station in Croydon, so she could be stationed near her family and where she lived. After a year at Croydon, she was posted to the Missing Persons Bureau at Scotland Yard and was later transferred to Norbury police station.
Sislin left the Met because of family commitments. She moved to her husband's birth country of Jamaica with their children, where she joined the Jamaican police force.
[S]he didn't set out to be a trailblazer. She didn't set out to be the first in anything. It's just something that she had wanted to do for a very long time. [...]
[H]opefully she's looking down on us and smiling and thinking that, ‘Yeah, I am proud of my achievement and I wish to encourage other people – no matter what their race, creed or gender – to apply to become a police person if they so wish to’.
Paula Allen, Sislin Fay Allen’s daughter
To honour Sislin's memory, the Sislin Fay Allen Centre will be used for the training of officers and staff from all levels of policing.
Sislin's story is a reminder that we must continue our efforts to help the police protect all communities it serves.
In 1968, policing was probably not the easiest of professions for a young Black woman to join, however, the bold and courageous step that Sislin took to serve the community and to help keep the public safe, was historic. Sislin was a pioneer and her service has inspired others to join policing and fight crime.
We are pleased to be able to commemorate the contribution Sislin made, and we hope officers and staff from all backgrounds will be inspired by her story.
Chief Constable Andy Marsh, College of Policing CEO