Hundreds gather in Edinburgh to honour fallen police officers

27 September 2015

Families, colleagues and senior officials from throughout the UK will today join a congregation of 1,200 to honour police officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice protecting and serving their communities.

Loved ones will gather for the twelfth annual National Police Memorial Day (NPMD), of which HRH The Prince of Wales is Patron. The service will take place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, and this will be its third time in Scotland.

Tributes will be paid to all those who tragically died in the Clutha helicopter disaster in 2013, with a wreath being laid in their memory by the Air Support Unit, Police Scotland.

During the service, prayers will be led and candles lit by relatives from Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales, who mourn their loved ones and in remembrance of officers from throughout the British Isles.

The congregation will stand as the Piper’s Lament plays while petals fall in remembrance of lives lost.

Sergeant Joe Holness QPM, founder, National Police Memorial Day said:

“I am immensely proud to lead National Police Memorial Day in commemoration of our fallen colleagues.

“This special day gives us the opportunity to come together as a nation to remember our loved ones, friends and colleagues who have made the ultimate sacrifice whilst protecting the communities they served.

“It is an honourable day and a poignant reminder of the dangerous nature of policing.”

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Please find below quotes on the importance and significance of the day from the following:

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Police Scotland Deputy Chief Constable Neil Richardson

Chief Superintendent Irene Curtis, President, Police Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales

National Police Chief’s Council Chair Sara Thornton

Brian Docherty, Chairman, Scottish Police Federation


Steve White, Chair, Police Federation of England and Wales

Mark Lindsay, Chairman, Police Federation for Northern Ireland (PFNI)


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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“I am honoured to have been asked to make the opening remarks of welcome at this year’s National Police Memorial Day Service.

“Each day, right across the country, police officers make an incredible contribution to our communities and we recognise and value the incredible bravery they display as they undertake their duties, often in extremely dangerous situations.

“Today’s service will give us all the opportunity to remember and honour those officers who have given their lives while in the line of duty. We will never forget their courage, and my thoughts are very much with families, friends and colleagues of those who have died. I hope they are reassured and comforted by our continued respect and gratitude for the contribution made by their loved ones.”

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Police Scotland Deputy Chief Constable Neil Richardson said:

“We are pleased to host this year’s National Police Memorial Day in Scotland again and welcome all members of the police family at this special event. Time and time again, we hear about the dedication and commitment of those in policing and it is fitting we join together with families, friends and colleagues to remember those who have lost their lives and pay tribute to their service.”

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Police Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales President Chief Superintendent Irene Curtis said:

“It is my privilege to represent the Police Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales on National Police Memorial Day and to honour the memory of our colleagues who have died.

“Though they are never far from our thoughts, we are proud to come together to remember them and show our immense gratitude for their service. We also give thanks for the bravery and dedication shown by officers across the country every day in protecting the public and keeping people safe.”

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National Police Chief’s Council Chair Sara Thornton said:


“The National Police Memorial Day provides us with an opportunity to stop and remember the sacrifices made by police officers while protecting our communities. We commemorate the women and men that have lost their lives serving the public. Our thoughts are with their families, friends and colleagues.”

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Brian Docherty, Chair, Scottish Police Federation said:

“It is an honour to host National Police Memorial Day in Edinburgh. This special day of remembrance for colleagues who have fallen in the line of duty means so much to all of us in the police family.

“It is humbling and deeply moving to meet the families of fallen officers and share their memories.”

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Steve White, Chair, Police Federation of England and Wales said:

“We are proud to support National Police Memorial Day, which is a significant day of remembrance for the police family and the public we serve. We will never forget our fallen colleagues and their dedication to duty.”

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Mark Lindsay, Chairman, Police Federation for Northern Ireland (PFNI) said:

"This is a day when we remember all of our colleagues who died in the line of duty. The loss is felt most keenly by loved ones, and in this demonstrable and poignant Act of Remembrance, we are saying that we share your loss and honour the selflessness, commitment and courage of men and women who served all of our communities. They are remembered today and every day in our wider Police 'family'."