12 January 2023
Derbyshire Police Federation has welcomed the latest developments in the campaign for a posthumous medal for emergency services workers who die on duty after the issue was debated in Westminster.
The Elizabeth Medal appeared to be a step closer to becoming reality after veterans’ affairs minister Johnny Mercer told MPs it was now a priority for the Government and vowed to press for a positive outcome.
He said: “I will take this forward and hope that this year, with a bit of drive and energy, we can bring the campaign to a conclusion with which we are all happy.
“Losing a loved one in the line of duty can never be rectified, whether in police uniform or in the military.
“It is incredibly important to recognise the sacrifice and the lives of those who serve. I am determined that we will do everything we can to resolve that matter in the near future.”
The backbench debate in Westminster Hall was secured by Liberal Democrat MP and former police officer Wendy Chamberlain.
Ms Chamberlain, who served for 12 years with Lothian and Borders Police, told MPs: “We have long-standing awards for gallantry, sacrifice and service, for those who have given to our country in all sorts of different ways. It is right that such service deserves recognition, and the recipients and their families are rightly proud.
“But sadly, there are those who have equally served their country and have made sacrifices who are not being recognised as they should.
“No reward or recognition can replace the loss of a loved one, but if we can go someway to make them feel like that loss has been recognised, it is very important.”
Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton said: “We are fully behind this important campaign so are very pleased to see it is now being taken seriously in Westminster and has the support of the veterans’ affairs minister.
“There are very few people who do not believe our fallen colleagues deserve to be recognised in this way.
“We ask an awful lot of our frontline emergency service workers and it is only right that they are properly honoured should they give their lives while protecting others.”
The Medals for Heroes campaign was officially launched by the Police Federation, the Police Superintendents’ Association and the Prison Officers’ Association last April.
Bryn Hughes, whose daughter PC Nicola Hughes and her Greater Manchester Police colleague PC Fiona Bone were murdered 10 years ago, has actively supported the campaign.