Cheshire Constabulary's first black officer honoured at Museum of Policing
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Cheshire Constabulary’s first black officer has been honoured by having a dedicated exhibition section at the Museum of Policing in Warrington.
Ken Grosvenor, 81, first joined the force in February 1971 and served the people of Cheshire for nearly 30 years over two separate spells – initially he served in Crewe’s beat team.
The following year, he received a Chief Constable Commendation for the arrest of two men who stole a motor vehicle.
Just five years later, Ken joined Crewe CID as a Detective Constable and stayed there for the remainder of his initial 14 years of service. During his time in the force, Ken, a keen cricketer, represented the Constabulary’s cricket team as a medium-pace bowler.
He left the force in 1985 and returned to Barbados where he began working as Head of Security at a hotel.
In 1990, Ken returned to the UK and re-joined the force, taking up a role of civilian scenes of crime officer, spending his time working in Crewe, Chester and Northwich.
He also became Branch Secretary of UNISON, representing civilian staff members employed by the force and played a pivotal role in the negotiations for the relocation of staff to the new Headquarters in Winsford, before he retired in 2005.
In May this year, Ken attended a special ceremony at the Museum of Policing where he was presented with a commemorative plaque by Deputy Chief Constable Chris Armitt.
DCC Chris Armitt, Ken Grosvenor and PCC John Dwyer
Ken Grosvenor with DCC Chris Armitt
To coincide with Black History Month, which is taking place throughout October, visitors to the museum will also be able to see a new black mannequin that has been placed in Ken’s section to commemorate black officers who have followed in Ken’s footsteps.
Talking about the honour, Ken said: "It was a great honour to be formally acknowledged by Cheshire Constabulary as its first black officer.
"Being a black officer in the early '70s was not an easy road to travel, but the fact that I had served in the British Army somehow prepared me for the journey.
"I was fortunate to find a cadre of officers with whom I could gel and who were supportive throughout my career.
"I cannot say enough about some of the people who helped to shape my career, including the likes of Roy Armitt, George Jones, Bert Spencer, Vinny Armstrong and Terry Prestwick, and I would sincerely like to thank the Deputy Chief Constable and everyone else who attended the Museum of Policing to laud my service in the Constabulary.
"I want to thank Will Brown at the Museum of Policing and all his volunteers for the hard work they put into making the event the success it was.
"I am forever grateful that so many of my former colleagues were able to attend and being able to share the event with my family made it even more special.
“I would like to pay tribute to my two daughters and especially to my late dear wife, Sandra, whose relentless support made me the person I am today; she would have been so proud to see my efforts recognised.”
Detective Sergeant Upile Mtitimila who is chair of Cheshire Constabulary’s Multicultural Network said: “It is inspiring to see Ken getting this recognition and humbling to know that he paved the way for myself and others in the Constabulary.
“The power of seeing someone like you in uniform, in policing cannot be understated and Ken’s service and the work of the museum I am sure will connect with many – some of whom may not have previously considered a career in policing.
“To Ken we are incredibly grateful.”
Ken’s daughter, Dee Lobin who works in Cheshire Constabulary’s Witness Care Unit said: “I feel immensely proud that my dad’s efforts have now been recognised and whose appointment to the force at that time was ground-breaking, and despite some of the oppression he suffered, he conducted himself with utmost integrity and dignity.”
Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer said: “I would like to thank Ken for his years of service, I am delighted that his career is being honoured in such a memorable way and that he has formally been recognised as Cheshire Constabulary’s first black officer.
“The dedication and courage that Ken has shown throughout his career is inspirational and he has paved the way for other black officers in Cheshire, I am so proud that Ken is receiving the recognition he deserves.
“Black History Month is an opportunity to reflect on the contribution that black officers, like Ken, have made and to look to the future to ensure that Cheshire Constabulary continues to be an inclusive and supportive place to work for all its officers and staff.“