Former Scots police officer celebrates 100th birthday

A FORMER Scots police officer who was one of the first female officers in her area has celebrated her landmark 100th birthday.

Johan Carstairs is believed to have been one of the first women in the role in Fife when she was stationed at Lochgelly in the 1940s.

The centenarian now lives in Berkshire but served as a woman police constable (WPC) in Fife from 1942 until 1945.

Johan Carstairs. Credits: Scotland Police Fife/Facebook.

Now, Johan is celebrating turning 100 with flowers sent to her door by Police Scotland, who also left a tribute to the OAP online.

Taking to social media yesterday to show their appreciation, Police Scotland Fife wrote: “Johan Carstairs (nee Grieve) was one of Fife Constabulary’s first WPCs based with us from 23/11/1942 until 14/11/1945.

“During her service she was stationed at Lochgelly. After her service she moved with her husband to Berkshire where they remained.

“On Friday 3 November Johan celebrated her 100th birthday and we were delighted to be a part of it. Pictured is Johan with flowers delivered from Police Scotland.

“Thank you, Johan, for your service and we wish you all the best for the future.”

The post shows a picture of Johan sitting in her armchair whilst holding a birthday card and surrounded by a bouquet of flowers and balloons that read 100.

The post has received over 1,800 likes and dozens of comments from well-wishers online.

Judy Hamilton wrote: “How amazing! Happy 100th Birthday to Johan and well done to Police Scotland for recognising Johan’s special day!”

Elizabeth Pratt commented: “Happy belated 100th birthday. Thank you for your service from a Fife lassie.”

Mhairi Mackenzie said: “Thank you Johan you were a star and ambassador as all our amazing police service are.”

Lynda Devaney replied: “How nice is that, keeping in touch all that time.”

Edith Smith is commonly believed to be the first female police officer with full power of arrest in the UK when the power was granted to her in August 1915.

Smith’s appointment was seen as a highly polarizing social point as the Home Office advised that women could not be sworn in because they did not count as “proper persons” in the eyes of the law.

Before Smith, an estimated 4,000 women took on a policing function as voluntary patrols, aiming to ensure orderly behaviour in parks, railways stations and other public spaces.

Today, it is estimated that there are 42,621 female police constables in England and Wales whilst Scotland has 16,614.