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Dedication of new memorial to honour fallen police officers

Heroic police officers and staff from across the UK who have died while protecting the public will be commemorated in a permanent memorial to be unveiled next Wednesday, 28th July at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

The new UK Police Memorial honours the courage and sacrifice of all those from across the police service who have dedicated their lives to protecting us and will be commemorated at a special ceremony at the Arboretum next week.

The ceremony will be attended by hundreds of guests, who will adhere to coronavirus restrictions, including dignitaries, senior politicians, and representatives from all police force across the country, policing charities and the families and friends of officers killed on duty. The public will be able to view the ceremony live online through the memorial website www.ukpolicememorial.org from midday.

Sir Hugh Orde, Chair of Trustees, said:

“Next Wednesday will be a historic day for our police service. After seven years of fundraising and 12 months of construction, we can finally dedicate this beautiful and iconic memorial that pays tribute to the courage and sacrifice of all those police officers and staff who have paid the ultimate price.
“The 12-metre-tall brass memorial, with its leaf shaped apertures representing courage, sacrifice and lives lost, is set within a beautifully landscaped area, and has been designed for ceremony, tribute and personal acts of reflection.
“As a nation, we all owe those who have laid down their lives to keep us safe and protect us from harm a huge debt of gratitude. This memorial will ensure that the memory of those officers and staff who have died lives on in perpetuity.”

Since 1749 and the establishment of the Bow Street Runners as the country’s first recognised police force, almost 5,000 police officers and staff have died whilst policing our communities, over 1,500 through acts of violence.

The National Memorial Arboretum is the national place of all-year remembrance for all our services. It is home to almost 400 thought provoking memorials, including the National Armed Forces Memorial, and attracts over 300,000 visitors per year.

South Wales Police Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan, who will be attending the ceremony, said:

”Police officers and staff face risks every day to help keep our communities safe. This memorial will recognise the vital contribution that policing makes to our society. Its creation, which has been partly funded by generous contributions from South Wales Police officers and staff, as well as from colleagues from other forces, acknowledges the courage and sacrifice made by police officers and staff who have paid the ultimate price.
“South Wales Police has faced tragedy in the past, with local officers making the ultimate sacrifice whilst carrying out their duties. The memorial will also provide a focal point for family, friends and colleagues of those killed on duty where they can go to carry out personal acts of remembrance.”

South Police & Crime Commissioner Alun Michael added:

“Every hour of every day, the bravery, commitment and professionalism of police officers and staff across the United Kingdom ensures the safety of the public within their homes and communities.
“In his principles for establishing the police service in London, Sir Robert Peel recognised that the police are the public and the public are the police; the new UK Police Memorial will serve as a place where people can pay their respects to family, friends and colleagues who have been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in the execution of their duties.”

The £4.5million UK Police Memorial project is not just a physical tribute at the Arboretum. A digital memorial is being developed that names all 5,000 police and staff lost, with a number of enhanced profiles already produced, that tell the stories of those behind the badge; and an education programme is being created for students that tells the story of the history of our police service and the important role it plays in today’s society.

Sir Hugh added:

“This magnificent tribute to fallen police officers and staff has only been made possible thanks to the considerable generosity of our supporters, donors and benefactors. This is a place that will not only honour the courage and sacrifice of the men and women from our police service, but it will become a fitting tribute to honour all those who continue to serve.”

For further information please visit www.ukpolicememorial.org. The public can view the dedication ceremony and participate remotely by logging on to the memorial website from midday on Wednesday, 28th July 2021 and following the link.

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