4 April 2022
Derbyshire Police Federation is backing calls for the creation of a new posthumous award for emergency service workers who die in the line of duty.
Branch chair Tony Wetton said he fully supported the campaign which seeks Home Office approval and cross-party support to enhance the current honours and awards system so it adequately reflects the dedication, commitment and sacrifice of those who lost their lives.
The new award would be similar to the Elizabeth Cross, which is awarded to the bereaved relatives of members of the British armed forces killed in action.
The campaign is being led by the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), the Police Superintendents’ Association and the Prison Officers’ Association.
Tony said: “Our members spend their careers ensuring the safety of others and put their own lives on the line every day to do so and I think it is only right that such courage and dedication is properly recognised by our society.
“The creation of a new medal would fittingly honour fallen colleagues, and the families of police officers who have suffered a devastating loss.”
PFEW deputy national secretary John Partington said: “It is only right we should honour fallen colleagues and support bereaved families. Police officers and other emergency service workers willingly run towards danger while others run away.
“The current awards system does not formally recognise emergency service workers who lose their lives while performing their duties, and all too often formal state recognition is not forthcoming.
“The proposed new medal would not just recognise outstanding individual acts of dedication to duty, it would also mean so much to family, friends and colleagues.”
The campaign has also been endorsed by the father of PC Nicola Hughes (23) who was murdered alongside her Greater Manchester Police colleague Fiona Bone in a gun and grenade attack by fugitive Dale Cregan in September 2012.
Bryn Hughes said: “It would mean so much to so many for the Government to officially show formal gratitude to Nicola and others and say ‘thank you’ to those who are killed because they have gone to work wearing a uniform.
“Although it’s now a decade since we lost her, there’s not a day goes by that I don't think of Nicola. Nothing will ever make up for her loss, but this award would bring a large degree of comfort to me and a great many others and is long overdue.”
Bryn played a leading part in the successful campaign to establish the UK Police Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, which commemorates the 5,000 police officers who have died in the line of duty over the years. He also runs the PC Nicola Hughes Memorial Fund to help children whose parents have been murdered.
Nicola and Fiona were the posthumous recipients of the first ever Women in Policing Award when it was launched by the PFEW in 2015.