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Sussex Police Federation

Sussex Police Federation honours fallen officers at National Police Memorial Day

1 October 2019

"It’s so important that the police family remembers those police officers we have lost across the years.”

Thousands of police officers who have died while on duty have been honoured at the 16th annual National Police Memorial Day.

Members of the police family gathered at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow to honour the more than 4,000 officers who have lost their lives on duty. The names of those officers who have died in the past year were read out.

HRH The Prince of Wales, who is Patron of National Police Memorial Day, was among those attending the service, led by Canon David Wilbraham. He was joined by Home Secretary Priti Patel; Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, more than 40 Chief Constables and 1,500 police officers and family members.

Chairman of Sussex Police Federation Matt Webb - pictured with our Secretary Simon Steele - said the memorial service was a significant event in policing calendar to remember those the police family has lost.

Speaking after the service, he said “The significance of this event is for us being able to remember the families of those officers that we’ve lost and remember the officers themselves.

“The day allows the families to come together in a place where they will meet others who have gone through the same shared experience. That’s something they probably don’t find in day to day life.

“All people face grief at some point in their lives but when someone is snatched away from you so quickly, and in some cases so violently, it’s very difficult to come to terms with. This event allows them to speak with other families who have gone through the same experience.

“The principles of the British Police Service are that the public are the police and the police are the public. Our day to day job is to support and protect our communities. When someone has to lay down their life in the line of duty, it really should be felt as a ripple across the whole of society. It’s just important that we as an organisation, as a service, remember those individuals across the years.”

In the commemorative brochure, HRH The Prince of Wales said: “Policing in the United Kingdom has enormous pressures to contend with, no more so than on the front line. As society changes, so must the way in which we support and protect our communities. Your job is one of the toughest there is, and all too often your efforts go unrecognised.

“I am proud to be with you today, and I particularly want you to know how very much I appreciate all that you do, and the sacrifices you make. You and your families have a very special place in the heart of this Nation.”

During the service, candles were lit for officers in each of the four nations. Representing Scotland was Margaret Sinclair and her daughter Patricia, for PC Leslie Sinclair, who died in 1972 following a road traffic collision.

Representing England was Rumbie Mabuto and her children Kenny and Sophia, for DC Joe Mabuto, who died after suffering a heart attack on duty. Representing Wales was William Parker, son of PC Andy Parker, who was killed in a motorbike crash when travelling home after a night shift.

And representing Northern Ireland was Margo Hetherington, daughter of Reserve Constable Jacob Rankin, who was fatally shot in 1978 whilst on duty by terrorists.

Andrea MacDonald, Chair of the Scottish Police Federation, read the names of officers who have lost their lives during the past year: PC Joseph Robert Cooke and Sgt Colin Michael Fox, both of the Met; PC Daniel Clayton-Drabble, PC Kevin Flint and PC Andrew Harper, all of Thames Valley Police; and PC Roy Buggins, of Police Scotland. The service also paid tribute to US Special Agent Nole Remagen, who died while on duty in Scotland.

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