Britain's First Black Police Officer

Citizen 3/8/62 . Britain's first black police officer to be sworn in at Gloucester Astley Lloyd Blair. (Gloucestershire Police Archives URN 1148(1))

Astley Lloyd Blair

The first black police officer in Gloucestershire. Newspaper headlines of the time said that he was the first black police officer in Britain.

He was sworn in as a Special Constable on 31 Jan 1964, aged 27. Blair had served as a full time policeman in Jamaica for 5 years before coming to England with his wife, Bernice a nurse at Coney Hill Hospital. He lived at 17 Arthur Street, off Barton Street, Gloucester and was working as a process operator at the British Nylon Spinners factory in Brockworth when sworn in.

While researching for Black History Month 2020 we have found that the headline is incorrect and the first black special constable was in fact Cecil Rodgers who in 1964 had been a special for 25 years in Plymouth.

 

Mr Blair is featured in the BFI Player being interviewed by Reg Harcourt in Gloucester:

This page was added on 13/06/2016.

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