Norwell Roberts, Britain's first black police officer.

  • Sug Sean Webster

This is a tribute to Norwell Roberts, Britain's first black police officer. I’ve wanted to share this post on here for some time. Norwell was born on the same island as me. A tiny island in the Caribbean named #Anguilla. Such is the story of Norwell Roberts, known as the first black police officer in London. He was born on October 23, 1945. Born on @anguilla_tourism, he had to move with his mom shortly after his father's death to the UK when she got an appointment in England. Two years after Roberts joined the force, Met would recruit its second black officer. “If I hadn’t stuck it, there probably wouldn’t have been a second or a third,” he said. Roberts became a detective sergeant in 1976, 10 years after joining the force. “There was an old PC who hated black people. He was stick-happy and loved to use his truncheon on black people. He told everybody not to talk to me and threatened them if they did. He had his cup, his own seat in the canteen and his own place on parade where nobody dared stand. It was the usual bully nonsense. “I had buttons ripped off my uniform, matchsticks stuck in the keyhole of my car, half crowns scratched down the side of the car. I had my tyres slashed. And my car was relocated to double yellow lines, where it was towed away to the car compound. I also had cups of tea thrown in my face,” Roberts recollected. Roberts served at several police stations across the metropolitan area, including West Hampstead, West End Central, Wembley, Kentish Town, Vine Street, Ealing, Albany Street, Barnet, and Acton. During a career that spanned 30 years, Roberts spoke of how he was ignored when he called for backups during operations. “I used to get in the bath and just cry. That was my way of getting rid of it or becoming used to it.” In 1996 Roberts was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) for distinguished service – one of the highest awards given to British constabulary members. Robert retired from the force in 1997. police officer Uniform by Metropolitan Police Department Footwear by @josephitheaney x @richardbiedul Photo by @rowben_ Credits @guardian @leroylogan99 #norwellroberts #sugsean #blackpolice #ukblackpolice