Surrey Police – a reunion of Women Police Officers following 70yrs service

imagesThis week Surrey Police ladies will turn in 70 years service to the County and beyond. It’s a great milestone and one that deserves to be recognised and recorded. I am aware of a lot of enthusiasm among retired and serving officers for this anniversary so much so a larger venue has been organised.

An event will be held at Surrey’s HQ, (Mount Browne, Sandy Lane, Guildford) for all who can attend and there are three guest speakers planned: Chief Constable Lynne Owens, Rose Murray and Dr Helen Bowcock, the outgoing High Sheriff of Surrey.


I cannot imagine what it was like for the pioneering women who first joined Surrey Constabulary:  Just looking back at the changes I have observed is a mind-boggling experience.

Where I worked in the mid-80’s there would probably be one WPC to ten male colleagues. Now that ratio is much smaller. And rightly so.

I can remember parading a team on at Leigh (GMP) where I had a female Sergeant and 5 female constables along with just one lad so I asked him ironically “How does it feel to be the token blok?” How amused were we at this amazing female takeover of the team? I hope most of you will be scratching your heads and going “why did that matter?” as today I often parade-on more girls than boys.

Then it was a singularity, novel and worthy of crass comment.

Today colleagues who are female are represented everywhere across the service.  The best police officer I ever worked for was female (Mary Vaisney – if you wish to know). It’s good to recognise this achievement and both the task completed and the task ahead.


So good luck ladies from Surrey Constabulary and Surrey Police, I hope the more mature will pass on their stories of bravery, boredom, laughs and tears covering the whole 70 years – and trust someone will record them so we can start to understand the challenges, the personal cost and triumphs of the service provided by these exceptional ladies.



About Roger Nield MBE

Safety Director for the SMPL Organisation and supporting our Vulnerable Veterans Programme.
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