NBPA – John Kent, Britain’s first black police officer

John Kent (1805-1886) is widely acknowledged to be Britain’s first black police officer of the modern era of UK policing. He joined the police force in Maryport, Cumbria in 1835 before transferring to Carlisle Police in 1835. He was the son of a former slave, Thomas Kent. John also went on to have a career with the Railway Police.

On Saturday 26 October 2019, Maryport Town Council honoured him with a blue plaque, placed on the wall in the street where the town jail was sited. The unveiling was by Workington MP Sue Hayman. She was accompanied by (from left) Maryport Mayor Peter Kendall, Cumbrian High Sheriff Marcia Reid-Fotheringham JP, (Sue Hayman) and NBPA President Sgt Tola Munro.

A relative of John’s was also present and Tola Munro presented her with his NBPA President’s award.

BBC link on unveiling of blue plaque – here 


NBPA Press Release on John Kent (11.03.18)