28 September 2020
THE 17th National Police Memorial Day Service remembering thousands of police officers who have died on duty was as emotional and moving as ever this year, despite being held virtually.
The online service – which featured police and religious leaders, politicians and families of fallen officers – was made even more poignant following the murder of Metropolitan Police officer Sgt Matt Ratana just two days before.
Prince Charles, who is patron of NPMD, paid tribute to UK police officers, saying they had “earned the admiration of the world” and would always have a "special place in the heart" of our grateful nation.
He said: “The dreadful incident in Croydon is an example of the dangers our police officers face daily. We owe our remarkable police officers the most profound debt of gratitude.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “When I think of our officers I think of the extraordinary courage they show every day. The officers we remember today represent the very best of us. They laid down their lives to prevent us from coming to harm. We own them a huge debt.”
Paul Williams, Chairman of Cumbria Police Federation, said: “Like many other colleagues across the country I took some quiet reflection and linked in to the online National Police Memorial Day yesterday and listened to some touching tributes.
“It was a short, 30 minute presentation but in that time much was said and it was a real reminder of the dangers of policing and a sad reminder of the loss we have suffered in the last 12 months.
“It is incredibly important that this event took place in the ever developing COVID situation and I have to congratulate those that helped put this together in such difficult times.”
Paul added: “The shocking news around the killing of Sgt Matt Ratana left the whole policing community stunned. A cop went to work that night and his life was taken away from him in a horrific, evil way. That leaves us with a mix of emotions that’s hard to describe.
“I was glad to see a tribute to Matt paid in yesterday’s event. He will never be forgotten and events like yesterday remind us of the ultimate sacrifices our officers make in protecting the public.
“It was also touching to see the tribute to our Cumbrian friend and colleague PC Nick Dumphreys who was sadly taken from us.
“This job is real, the dangers are real and we give so much for so little in return. That’s a measure of character required to be a cop. It can make you and break you, yet knowing the risks we do it anyway.”
The service also received contributions from the Home Secretary, who gave a tribute and a reading, and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The British Police Symphony Orchestra played ‘I vow to thee my country’, with more than 60 musicians who had proudly recorded their contributions while in isolation from homes across the UK.
More than 4,000 police officers who have died on duty were remembered.
Officers who have died on duty over the past year had their names read out. They are Sgt Matt Ratana and PC Chris Miller, of the Metropolitan Police; SC Resham Singh Nahal, of West Midlands Police; PC Matt Lannie, of South Yorkshire Police; PC Nick Dumphreys, of Cumbria Police; DC Jon Hicken, of Dorset Police; and PC Roy Buggins, of Police Scotland.
If you missed it, you can see the service again here: https://www.polfed.org/news-media/latest-news/2020/fallen-officers-honoured-at-national-police-memorial-day/