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Norfolk Police Federation

‘Being a police officer means putting your life on the line’

25 September 2023

Being a police officer means putting your life on the line every day, and it is right to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while doing their job.

Norfolk Police Federation Secretary Sam Hawkins joined members of the police family to honour thousands of police officers who have died on duty at the annual National Police Memorial Day, in Cardiff on Sunday 24 September.

Sam said: “This is my fourth service and I always look forward to it, in a poignant kind of way. It’s really important, I think, for the police family, for us all to remember the officers that we’ve lost over the years and that they should never be forgotten.

“It’s really, really poignant this year, with all the strife and all the problems going on in policing. It’s good to stop, take a moment, and remember what it’s all about and remember those who have lost their lives. It’s a very sober but also an uplifting experience, and I always look froward to it.

“We haven’t got any families with us this year, but previously have brought families along with us. It’s really significant for them too. It’s important for them to know that their loved ones that they’ve lost, that they’re still remembered, that they can still come and be embraced in the police family to remember their loved ones.

“Policing gets such a bashing in the media and in general terms, we must never forget that being a police officer and putting your life on the line every day is what we do. Those that we lose, this has to continue forever and a day, every year, so that we can remember them.”

The names of those officers who had died in the past year were read out. They are PCSO Daniel Gower, of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary; Sgt Steven Creal, of Sussex Police; PC Richard Kemp, of Lancashire Constabulary; PC Bruce Lister, of Hertfordshire Constabulary; PC Neil Pattinson, of Northumbria Police; PC Andrew Boardman, of West Mercia Police; Insp Gareth Earp, of Dyfed-Powys Police; and Sgt Graham Saville, of Nottinghamshire Police.

During the service, candles were lit for officers in each of the four nations. Representing Wales was Dorothy Ellis, mother of PC Adrian Ellis, of Gwent Police, who died aged 29 on 27 September 1989 as a result of a road traffic collision.

Representing Scotland was David Taylor, son of PC George Taylor, of Strathclyde Police, who died aged 27 on 30 November 1976 after being attacked with an axe.

Representing England was Sid Mackay, father of PC Nina Mackay, of the Metropolitan Police, who died aged 25 on 24 October 1997 having been stabbed by a wanted man. She was posthumously awarded the Commissioner’s High Commendation for Bravery.

Representing Northern Ireland were Mervyn and Dorothy Reynolds, parents of Constable Philippa Reynolds, of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, who died aged 27 on 9 February 2013 after the police vehicle in which she was a passenger was struck by a stolen vehicle.

The service also heard a reading First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford, Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper.

There was silence as petals of remembrance, representing all who have lost their lives, descended from the gallery as the Last Post was sounded.