Scotland Yard has celebrated the 50th anniversary of Karpal Kaur Sandhu becoming a member of its ranks as the primary South Asian and Sikh feminine police officer, paving the way in which for others to observe in her footsteps.
Police Constable (PC) Sandhu served the Metropolitan Police in London between 1971 and 1973 and has been dubbed as a “true pioneer” for police forces throughout the UK.
“PC Karpal Kaur Sandhu was a true pioneer and ahead of her time. I have no doubt that her decision to join the Met Police in 1971 was a brave one and she would have faced considerable challenges along the way,” stated Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball on Monday.
“As Britain’s and the Met’s first Asian female officer, Karpal paved the way for so many others who have gone into policing since 1971. Fifty years to the day (Monday) after PC Sandhu joined the Met, I am pleased that we are able to remember her life, her career and the legacy she has left policing,” she stated.
The National Sikh Police Association UK joined forces with the Met Police Sikh Association for a particular digital occasion in reminiscence of PC Sandhu on Monday.
“Today, together with representatives from the Met”s Sikh Association, Met police officers and staff and the wider Sikh community, we remember Karpal”s special contribution to policing, as the UK’s first female Asian and Sikh police officer,” stated Ravjeet Gupta, Chair of the Metropolitan Police Sikh Association.
“Karpal was an invaluable ambassador for the Met who helped break down barriers with London”s communities and will always be remembered for being a trailblazer of her time,” stated Mr Gupta.
PC Sandhu was born to a Sikh household in Zanzibar, East Africa, in 1943 and got here to the UK in 1962, the place she bought a job as a nurse at Chase Farm Hospital.
She joined the Met in 1971 on the age of 27, the place she served at Hornsey police station earlier than shifting to Leyton in east London.
“I’m so proud of my mother, and her legacy as the UK’s first female police officer from an Asian and Sikh background. It’s wonderful that 50 years on she is remembered, and is an inspiration to generations of new female police officers joining the Met,” stated Romy Sandhu, Karpal Kaur Sandhu’s daughter.
At a time when there would have solely been about 700 feminine officers within the Met, she was each the primary feminine Sikh and feminine South Asian police officer within the UK.
Writing in a report on the time, her Chief Superintendent stated that she was “proving invaluable with our dealings with the immigrant population and she is also assisting other divisions in this work and also in teaching police officers Asian dialects”.
He added that she was “energetic, intelligent and conscientious” and loved taking part in hockey and driving.
The Met Police stated that PC Sandhu handed away in “tragic circumstances” in November 1973 and sadly, the pressure misplaced a promising officer who had a shiny future.
Sandhu, aged 30, was killed in an altercation together with her husband, who was reportedly against her profession selection and was later sentenced to life imprisonment for her homicide in 1974.