A FORMER police officer has published a memoir dedicated to her career as one of the highest ranking women in England and Wales.

Phyllis Sigsworth, 90, originally from Byland Abbey, but now living in Guisborough, is to release A Beat From the Heart To the Heart of Power, a book marking her time in the police force.

She started her 30-year career on January 27, 1950, as a police station clerk in the North East and eventually rose to the position of assistant to the Chief Inspector of Constabulary - the highest a woman could go at that point. Accompanied with a foreword from former PM, Theresa May, Phyllis, along with co-writer David Harnby, documents what life was like in the police force for a female officer and how things have changed over the years. “Phyllis is 90, but as bright and intelligent as when I first met her 37 years ago,” said Rev Stuart East, a friend. “I met her at my home church in Maidenhead, where Phyllis moved to be closer to her sister.

“Her wealth of experience and fight for equal rights for women in a male-dominated profession echoes as true today, as it did in 1950.

“Her personal anecdotes makes this a warm, rewarding and thought-provoking book.

“All proceeds go to Domestic Abuse Stops Here (DASH), a charity close to Phyllis’s heart, stemming directly from her experiences gained as a police officer.”

The book is available from Amazon, Waterstones or Foyles.