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In 1917, with the country in the grip of the First World War, the National Union of Women’s Workers (N.U.W.W.) was granted a subsidy of £400 per year by Sir Cecil Macready, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, to “carry out important work” of setting up women patrols in London. During that year, Sofia Stanley was appointed Supervisor of Special Patrols.
In the beginning there were 37 patrols, working two nights a week. They wore no uniform beyond a plain dark coat, skirt and hat with the initials N.U.W.W. and an armlet with the same initials, had restricted duties and had no power of arrest. By the end of 1917, London had 55 full-time Special Patrols and Volunteer Patrols.
Sofia Stanley accepts employment in November 1918 as Superintendent of the A4, the future Women Police Department.
These Special Patrols became the nucleus of the first Metropolitan Women Police when, on the 17th February 1919, the first 21 women signed their one year contracts, the department quickly rose to number 112 women.
Unfortunately, by 1922, the Geddes Axe saw Parliament cut the department from 112 to 20. Mr Shortt MP said in the House of Commons that policemen’s’ wives could do women’s police work, and Lady Astor retorted that police didn't choose their wives for patrolling streets or escorting prisoners.
It meant that Sofia no longer had a role from 21 November 1922 and the remaining 20 Women Patrols were posted to various areas of the Met, under the control of the local Superintendents.
Mentor for disadvantaged girls.
Recruiting the next generation of firearm officers.
Met's longest serving female police officer.
Safeguarding partnership lead, Islington & Camden.
Oversees policing in South West London.
First female Commander.
First female CID officer.
The Met’s first black female police officer.
First female Commissioner of the Met.
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