Forty-five years’ service to Leicestershire Police earns Dom a BEM in New Year’s Honours
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“It’s humbling, it really is,” said Dom. “I don’t do what I do to be recognised, to get an award.
“And to think someone has nominated me and taken the time to do it – it’s so humbling. I feel so honoured."
For the last 13 years, Dominique Allen has worked as a police staff member, doing a lot of the work that no one sees behind the scenes.
But if Dom wasn’t there doing it, everyone would soon notice.
And for the 31 years and three months before that – taking us back to 1976 – Dom was a police officer, starting her career aged just 19 as WPC 81.
Working her entire service at Leicestershire Police, Dom ended her uniformed career as she began, working as a Constable.
Starting in the then Central division, based in the city centre, Dom remembers those early days.
She said: “We were WPCs then, issued with a skirt and handbag. It seems so strange now that this was the case! It was only a short time before I joined that women didn’t work nights and were office based.
“It seemed like we were in a minority – when I was living in the residential block at Charles Street station in the early days, there were only three female officers, compared to the 24 men who were also staying there!”
Dom (pictured) was based in many different areas of the force over the years, working out of Hinckley Road, as part of the special enquiry unit – which went on to become the Child Abuse Unit. She worked as a staff officer, assisting the Chief Officers, and in the control room, before finishing up in the Police Federation office.
But at the end of her 31 years in uniform, Dom couldn’t leave the force behind, and she returned, working as a police staff member in charge of the force’s Benevolent Fund.
The Benevolent Fund is a fund that officers and staff can pay a small amount into each month and that then pays out in certain circumstances – on the birth of a first child and when members are off on long-term sick leave. It also is available for grants and loans if members fall into hardship.
Dom ensures that the membership is up to date, looks after correspondence and deals with all applications for grants and loans – some of which are, of course, means tested.
The 64-year-old is also the person behind the Charities Fund and Police Care – organising help and support for current and retired officers, as well as widows and widowers.
Born in Mauritius, and of Mauritian-Creole decent, Dom moved to England when she was 15 with her English mother, following the death of her natural father.
“He was a barrister. I always saw him dealing with criminals and know that was something I wanted to do,” Dom said.
“But I knew I’d never be able to be a barrister so I decided on what I thought was the next best thing – policing.”
Taking her interest in her own history – Mauritius was under Portuguese and French rule, before being taken over by the English in 1810 – has helped Dom throughout her career and she now often finds herself involved in finding out about historical police buildings and officers who died in the Great War.
When asked what being awarded the British Empire Medal meant to her, Dom said: “It means everything. I haven’t done anything over the years thinking I would be honoured like this.
“I’ve worked hard and done my job, and to know that it’s been recognised and someone has taken the time to nominate me. It’s so humbling.
“My step-father, he died this week and I never got chance to tell him I was receiving the BEM. He’d have been so proud and I’m so sad he isn’t here to find out. I want to dedicate it to him, to his memory.”
Chief Constable Simon Cole said: “It is great to see Dom’s 45 years of service, and her work with various charities, being recognised in the Honour’s List in this way.
“She has supported so many people through her efforts, and made a positive difference for them, that this recognition is thoroughly deserved.”