Police service comes together to remember fallen officers


PUBLISHED 28 Sep 2021

IN News

Fallen officers were honoured at this year’s National Police Memorial Day service held at Lincoln Cathedral on Sunday.

Home Secretary Priti Patel, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick and Police Federation national chair John Apter all spoke at the service which was attended by bereaved families and colleagues of all ranks.

Cambridgeshire Police Federation was represented by chair Liz Groom.

Speaking after the service, Liz said: “National Police Memorial Day gives everyone in the policing family the opportunity to reflect, pay tribute and remember.

“The service was a poignant reminder that our members put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities and also that those whose lives are lost in the line of duty are never forgotten by their family, friends and colleagues.”

Earlier, Dame Cressida praised the courage and dedication of police officers throughout the coronavirus pandemic and paid tribute to those who had lost their lives over the past 12 months.

She told the congregation: “This year, we sadly add six more families to those we want to protect and support.

“The families of Paul Keany, Chris Miller, Matt Ratana, Darryl Street, Thomas White and Quamar Zaman.

“We will never forget you nor will we ever forget the sacrifice your loved ones made.

“Their lives give us hope, motivation and inspiration that through our police work good can prevail, safety and peace can be secured.

“Each and every one of our fallen colleagues will have helped and protected so many people, brought comfort, justice, safety, hope, reassurance and courage to others. We are proud of them.”

John read out the names of the officers who died in the last 12 months and said: “Let us remember before God the men and women of the police service who gave their lives in the exercise of their duty.”

During the service, representatives of fallen officers lit candles, one each for the forces in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

Addressing bereaved families in the congregation, Chris Haward, Chief Constable of Lincolnshire, said: “I hope today is of some comfort and that you can feel the support and compassion from all those around you because it is here in abundance

“National Police Memorial Day holds a place in all our hearts. We remember those we have lost but we should also celebrate their accomplishments, achievements and contributions together with those who continue to hold the thin blue line.

“Serving as a police officer is not an easy duty. Day in, day out, our officers give their everything to protect and serve others. They guide people when they are at their worst, they comfort people on their darkest of days.

“It is a path that many could not, nor would not, want to walk and we are proud of those who have dedicated their lives to policing. To those who have lost lives in the line of duty, their legacy will live on and they will always remain part of the police family.”

Ms Patel gave a short Bible reading from Corinthians 13 on the subject of love.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also paid tribute to police officers who have died in a message on Twitter.

He said: “No words can adequately do justice to the debt we as a nation owe fallen police officers.

“Without their dedication and willingness to run toward danger we simply would not be able to live our lives in safety and security.

“It’s something we must never take for granted.”

The service was led by Reverend Canon David Wilbraham, national police chaplain and memorial day coordinator, who said: “On this National Police Memorial Day, we give thanks for the bravery, courage and sacrifice of officers who since British policing began, have died on duty.”

Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire Toby Dennis was among the dignitaries who spoke during the service and praised the police for keeping the nation safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “The pandemic has cast so many fears not experienced before by any of us, that doubts for our safety and care were being greatly challenged no matter our circumstances.

“But the huge degree of comfort that the nation is protected by the most professional police force anywhere in the world gives us all the belief and faith to discover our inner strengths.”

During a minute’s silence, petals of remembrance, representing all who have lost their lives, fell from the gallery as the orchestra played “Abide With Me” and “The Last Post” was sounded.