Here at Valkyrie, we, like many others, are celebrating Black History Month. Whenever I think about this month, an old friend of mine pops into my head – a chap named Norwell Roberts.
Norwell was the first post war black officer to join the Metropolitan Police. He joined in 1967 and would face many challenges throughout his esteemed career, and he was subjected to racism and prejudice both in and outside of work.
As the first black policeman in London, he was the most conspicuous man in the force. His every move whether walking the beat or holding back protesters in Trafalgar Square hit newspaper headlines at home and abroad.
On his retirement in 1997, a leaving party was held at the banqueting rooms in Finchley. 600 people attended, including then Commissioner Paul Condon and his then-Chief Superintendent, Peter Twist.
I never had the honour of working with Norwell but socialise with him regularly. Like most retired police officers, he has a wicked sense of humour and I enjoy a belly laugh with him over a glass or two!
Have a great weekend.