Reflections on a career during Black History Month

October is Black History Month and has been marked in the UK for more than 30 years.

It is an annual event to highlight and celebrate the achievements and contributions of the black community throughout the UK.

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“There was complete silence…the other trainees had never seen a black police officer before”

As we celebrate Black History Month former officer and now member of police staff Eric Edwin writes about his experiences joining the force.

eric-edwin2I started at the force when I was 18 in 1978, as one of Bedfordshire Police’s first black male police officers. I followed in the footsteps of our first black female police officer Dahlia Hendrickson (nee Quailey) who joined three years earlier.

I wanted to become a police officer after my father’s first experience of arriving in Britain from St Lucia. He was met with signs in the windows of guest houses saying ‘no blacks, dogs or Irish’ and he was then beaten up. He told me: “If it wasn’t for the police I wouldn’t be here.” Continue reading