Police Federation

The Elizabeth Emblem: Fallen officers to receive State recognition

The Police Federation of England and Wales warmly welcomes the announcement of formal State recognition for officers who have died in service.

9 March 2024


The ‘Medals for Heroes’ campaign was launched two years ago by PFEW, alongside the father of Greater Manchester Police officer Nicola Hughes who was ambushed and killed along with her colleague Fiona Bone in 2012.

Beside PFEW, Bryn led the calls for the introduction of formal State recognition for any officer who loses their life while serving the public. The campaign received broad support from more than 100 cross-party MPs and most of the police and crime commissioners too.

Additional support was also given by all 43 chief constables along with the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the Police Superintendents’ Association.

National Board member and Medals for Heroes Lead John Partington commented: “We’ve waited for this announcement for a number of years. We launched the Medals for Heroes campaign two years ago and this itself was built upon campaigning that we worked on two years before that so I’m delighted by the news the work we have done has helped towards the emblem’s introduction.”

John added: “I’d especially like to thank all of those who have contributed to our call for formal State recognition. Many colleagues have worked with us on this and I’d like to especially thank the other board members and branch chairs who have added their local backing on behalf of the membership. 

I’m also grateful to the team in Wales who secured support for the highest levels and I know they have also offered a great deal of personal support to Bryn Hughes throughout the campaign.”

Bryn Hughes told us: “Nicola and Fiona went to work that day wearing the Crown and they lost their lives while responding to what they thought was a call for help from a member of the public. 

“To receive this news that their sacrifice is to be formerly recognised by the Crown and State is overwhelming. I meet with many other families of fallen officers and I’m sure many of those, too, will be thankful for this formal recognition.”

PFEW National Chair Steve Hartshorn commented: “The news of the introduction of the Elizabeth Emblem will mean a lot to our members.

“The role of a police officer is complex, difficult and sometimes dangerous and this announcement acknowledges that in the most tragic of circumstances, an officer’s family will receive formal State recognition for their loved one’s sacrifice.”


The Elizabeth Emblem


  • Families of fallen officers can retrospectively apply for the emblem via the GOV.UK website.
  • Applications can be made back to 1948 and the framework for the recognition is closely mirrored to that of the Elizabeth Cross which is awarded to military personnel.
  • The design of the emblem incorporates a rosemary wreath, a traditional symbol of remembrance, which surrounds the Tudor Crown. It is inscribed with ‘For A Life Given In Service’, and will have the name of the person for whom it is in memoriam inscribed on the reverse.
  • It will include a pin to allow the award to be worn on clothing by the next of kin of the deceased. 
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