This film is part of Free

Commonwealth Foundation

Beach, church and carnival – Chief Inspector of Brixton Police sent to Trinidad to learn about West Indian customs.

Government sponsored film 1969 12 mins


Lesley Hawkins – Chief Inspector of Brixton Police – is sent to Trinidad by the Commonwealth Foundation to learn more about West Indian customs in order to assist those who had settled in Brixton. The film sees Hawkins visit a beach, a church, and a carnival in Trinidad, interviewing people to find out more about unemployment on the island, and what might drive people to travel to Britain.

While some of the characterisations of West Indian people might be simplistic and even offensive to modern sensibilities, the film shows an ambitious attempt for police to reach out locally and internationally to help with issues of immigration and integration. The Commonwealth Foundation – established in 1966 – organised for police officers to visit other parts of the Commonwealth, such as India and Pakistan, to develop a greater understanding of the cultures of those emigrating to Britain and how they could be helped to settle and integrate in the UK. This government film is a public record, preserved and presented by the BFI National Archive on behalf of The National Archives, home to more than 1,000 years of British history.