A tribute by HRH The Prince of Wales during the National Police Memorial Day was watched more than 400,000 times across social media.
Prince Charles, National Police Memorial Day patron, led the tributes for the online service with hundreds of thousands watching via Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
The Reverend Canon David Wilbraham, the national police chaplain and National Police Memorial Day co-ordinator, said: “The service was even more poignant this year due to the very recent events in Croydon. Our brave police officers selflessly protect us every day and we wanted to make our virtual service as special as possible.
“Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. NPMD’s reach to the police service and police family was considerably more than ever before and extended well beyond the policing world.
“I extend my deepest gratitude to those who participated in the service itself and to those who watched and joined in solidarity to pay tribute. A special thank you to the small, but very dedicated team who made this years’ service possible.”
This year’s service had been due to take place at Lincoln Cathedral, but was held online because of coronavirus restrictions.
Candles were lit in remembrance of the deceased officers in each of the UK nations.
Lissie Harper, widow of PC Andrew Harper of Thames Valley Police, who died in August 2019 aged 28, lit the candle for England.
“It was an honour to light the candle for England,” Lissie said, “Despite the restrictions of Covid-19, it was extremely touching and thoughtful in remembering officers who selflessly served communities across the country.
“It’s immensely important we remember and pay tribute to fallen officers and remember the sacrifice they made for the country and society.
“National Police Memorial Day is a chance for us all to come together to support the families, friends and colleagues of those who have lost a loved one and I know I have certainly appreciated the support of the police family since Andrew’s death.
“Although we couldn’t come together physically this year, the virtual service was a fitting substitute and I look forward to hopefully attending the full service with everyone in Lincoln next year.”
Rebecca Tertois, daughter of PC Terry Davies of Gwent Police, who died in 1990, aged 34, lit a candle in memory of fallen officers in Wales.
She said: “The National Police Memorial Day is highly important annual event for myself, my sister Lowri and my mother Jayne.
“We’ve attended the event since the inaugural service which was held in 2004. The event provides us with the opportunity to join the extended police family to remember and pay respect to the fallen officers including my beloved father Terry.
“Sadly, this year due to Covid-19 the event was cancelled. However, I was delighted we were able to mark the occasion and pay our respects via the virtual service.
“I felt honoured to be asked to light the candle which represents Wales and would like to personally thank the organisers for the incredible service they provided.”
It was the first year the service hosted a tribute wall for families, friends and colleagues to remember their loved ones.
More than 630 people posted tributes and the wall is set to become a permanent fixture for National Police Memorial Day commemorations.
Meanwhile, a separate event for people to show their appreciation for the emergency services will take place on Saturday 24 October.
The Dance of a Thousand Lights takes place at sunset at 5.45pm on Saturday and will help raise funds for the Blue Lamp Foundation.
A spokesperson said: “You can join in by going outside at this time to shine a torch, your phone, your car lights.”
Some public buildings will be shrouded in blue lights to show their support.