National Police Memorial Day – Remembering and recognising our officers who paid the ultimate price
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Wiltshire Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner are proud to be supporting National Police Memorial Day today (Sunday 25 September).
The 19th annual commemoration service is an opportunity to pause and pay tribute to the 5,000 officers in Wiltshire and across the country who paid the ultimate price in the line of duty since records began 180 years ago.
It is a day to demonstrate to friends, family and colleagues that their sacrifice protecting our communities has not been forgotten, they did not die in vain, they leave a lasting legacy. Their selfless devotion to duty, and supreme valour are an example to us all.
It was an incredible honour for Wiltshire Police’s Chief Constable to attend the special Commemoration Service held at The Waterfront Hall in Belfast at 2pm – the first since 2019 to see a return to normal attendance since social restrictions.
The service rotates around each of the four countries and took place in Lincoln Cathedral in 2021. It is held on the nearest Sunday to the 29th September, coinciding with Saint Michael’s Day – The patron Saint of Police Officers.
Chief Constable, Kier Pritchard commented: “The professionalism and dedication of our British Police service is admired worldwide, which of course has been particularly demonstrated in recent days. Officers from all corners of the country who played their part in both the lead up to, and actual service for Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II, performed in an exemplary way.
“We all felt an overwhelming sense of pride at how our nation comes together in a time of grief. We, of course, acknowledge that this has been a solemn and poignant time in our national history but it’s important to honour and mark these significant events with the respect and dignity they deserve.
“The families and colleagues directly affected by the loss of a loved one whilst on duty as a police officer, as well as wider society are able to pause for a moment in tribute to the ultimate sacrifice some officers make as well as the courage all our officers show on a daily basis. I hope they find some small comfort in knowing how highly respected and valued our lost officers are. I’m humbled by their bravery and dedication to serving the public and keeping our communities safe.”
Wiltshire and Swindon’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Philip Wilkinson, is supporting the call from Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham’s office for police officers and emergency service workers killed in the line of duty to be officially honoured and remembered.
In a letter to the Home Secretary supported by PCC Philip Wilkinson, and other Police and Crime Commissioners, Andy Burnham asks for an official medal, similar to the Elizabeth Cross, to be given to families who have lost a loved one killed on duty.
Philip Wilkinson said: “Those who put their lives on the line to defend, protect and keep communities safe should not have to fear for their life as they carry out their job.
“But when the worst does happen, which is thankfully rare, it’s important their sacrifice is recognised and that is why I fully support Andy Burnham’s call for a posthumous award presented to the families of those killed in the line of duty.”