CUMBRIA POLICE has paid homage to John Kent – the UK’s first black police officer, unveiling a blue plaque on Saturday (October 26).
The plaque was installed on the site of Mr. Kent’s home by Cumbria Police, as they commemorated his contribution to the nation’s history.
The unveiling was conducted by Workington MP Sue Hayman and the High Sheriff of Cumbria, Marcia Reed-Fotheringham. Other attendees included Tola Munro, president of the National Black Police Association and Peter Foley, Cumbria’s first black professional footballer.
Taking to Twitter, Cumbria Police said: “Yesterday (Oct 26) officers attended the unveiling of a plaque in Maryport commemorating John Kent, Britain’s first black policeman who first served in Maryport from 1835 to 1837, before transferring to Carlisle City Police.”
Mr.Kent was born in Cumbria in 1805, and was the son of Thomas Kent – a slave who was brought into Whitehaven and freed in the UK.
He began his duties as a police officer in Maryport in 1835 and later joined Carlisle Police in 1837.
Following the unveiling of the plaque, a descendant of Mr Kent, Ian Bulman, said he was “pleased and proud”.
“I’m proud of where I’ve come from and I have a lot of admiration of what John and his father went through.”