Following the experience leading up to the unveiling of a Police Memorial at Horse Guards Road j/w The Mall, London 2005), the families of officers who died on duty sought support to erect a more “representative” memorial at the National Arboretum in Staffordshire. Despite several meetings there was insufficient funding, senior leadership or support to develop this at that time.
During 2013/2014 a group, led by Sir Hugh Orde and the PMAS set up a Trust to build a memorial at the Arboretum. Mick Foster (at the time Chair of COPS) became a Trustee for the new Memorial.
The Trust was formally registered in January 2015 and aims to honour the dedication, courage and sacrifice of members of the UK’s police service through the creation of a new UK Police Memorial at the NMA. The Trust is seeking to raise in excess of £4 million to build and maintain the memorial. In February 2015 the Trust launched the campaign and received a £1 million donation from the Government Libor fund.
In March 2014 COPS Chair of Trustees, Jan Berry, was invited to represent COPS on the Advisory Council of the Trust which would advise Trustees on who, how, when and where should be commemorated. The first meeting was in October 2014, JB highlighted need to work with survivors not impose a memorial on them as with the Memorial in the Mall and to be as inclusive as possible.
Architects (Wallace Jack) were appointed by the Trustees. Despite JB’s advice, the only survivor on the Advisory Council was Sid Mackay the Chair of Trustees of Police Roll of Honour Trust. Encouragement to broaden membership to include more survivors was resisted as the memorial was said to seek to celebrate policing as well as commemorate officers who had died on duty.
From early on the inclusion of names on the memorial became contentious. Consideration was given to different categories; death in service, death on duty, death due to criminal activity, in the process of arrest, road traffic accident, death from natural causes on duty. JB maintained that all “on duty” deaths should be included on the memorial.
Notes of a meeting of the Advisory Council on 28th November 2014 which JB was unable to attend indicate a consensus being reached including, “the memorial should avoid including a physical list of names to promote inclusivity and widen its purpose”. Reference was made to a cenotaph style memorial.
In January 2015, on receipt of the minutes from the November meeting JB raised concerns with MF about decisions being taken to exclude names and the need for the focus to be on remembering the sacrifice officers make rather than celebrating policing. MF emailed the Trust to support this and Adrian Leopard (Chair of Advisory Council) responded that the primary objective of the Memorial was one of commemoration. At the January Advisory Group meeting JB encouraged an open mind in respect of the inclusion of names before consultation with stakeholders.
Members of the Advisory Council were asked to consult on a set of principles which had been developed: the memorial should celebrate UK policing, commemorate all who served, be a place to contemplate and be informed about policing. A series of meetings between stakeholders and the architects were also arranged to assist with developing the design.
The architects met COPS members in Scotland with the Police Roll of Honour Trust, in Wakefield with NARPO and also met Sarah & Vicki Moore on a one to one basis. COPS developed an online survey and shared the results with the Advisory Group.
May 2015 feedback from stakeholder consultation was discussed, inclusion of names and which names continued to be a key issue throughout discussions.
• COPS Survey  – 252 responses, made up of approximately equal proportions of survivors, retired police officers and serving officers completed survey. More than 75% of all respondents strongly believe the memorial should list names of fallen officers. If names are included, then 83% believe the names of all officers should be included, not just those killed through criminal acts. General support for online “virtual” commemoration.
• Supt. Association – very low response rate & mixed views expressed, support for memorial, unsure about names and extending to wider police family.
• PROHT – support memorial, majority of trustees support having a memorial with names, ‘fallen in the line of duty’ i.e. those who have fallen as a result of the execution of their duty, support also for a digital display of 4.500 names.
• NARPO – support memorial, inclusion of names would detract from the ‘intended iconic and generic concept’ and difficulty assessing criteria for inclusion.
• NAPC – support memorial to commemorate and celebrate, ought not to single out particular names.
• UNISON – support inclusion of police staff, generally felt names should not be on memorial, digital commemoration would be appropriate.
Further consultation by PAMT with public (886, now 1674 respondents) via online survey, equal number of serving, retired, support, survivor respondents, majority of respondents indicated names (on duty, pursuance of duty or criminal act) should be included on the memorial. Proportionately more serving officers believed the names of ‘on duty deaths’ should be inscribed on memorial. This survey finding was considered “not conclusive”, despite corroborating findings of COPS survey.
The surveys highlighted the primary purpose of the memorial should be to remember ‘lives given’ and not ‘celebrate policing’.
In November 2015, following the first view of proposed design, the Trust recognised that inclusion of names ‘still remains to be addressed’. Discussions took place about the number of names, ranging between 1,600+ and 4,000+, depending on criteria applied.
In February 2016 at the public fundraising launch of the proposed design, questions re names were ‘fudged’. This was followed by angry social media comments from survivors and others.
Trustees agreed to consider how permanent names could be included and established. Names Committee to advise on this through further stakeholder consultation, taking account of how other jurisdictions deal with this issue.
18th March 2016 representatives from NARPO, NAPC, Unison, PROHT, Supt Association & COPS were invited to sit as Independent Memorial Names Committee who would make recommendations to the Trustees of PAMT. The Committee reviewed who and how other jurisdictions commemorated officers. Broadly these were as follows:
• National Memorial USA – Law enforcement officer killed or died in the line of duty
• National Police Memorial Australia – Killed on duty or died as a result
• Line of Duty Deaths (USA) – Line of duty deaths on or off duty, including associated injuries or illnesses
• Essex Police Memorial Trust – Officer or employee who receives injuries in the execution of their duty from which they subsequently die
• Officer Down Memorial – Felonious and accidental line of duty deaths, work related illnesses or deaths
• Firefighters – Death resulting from an injury or illness sustained as a direct result of an activity consistent with the duties of a firefighter or operational support personnel
• Police Roll of Honour Trust – British police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty
• Scottish Police Memorial Criteria – “Officer died on duty or as a direct consequence of their duty”
• Police Memorial Trust (Michael Winner) – Police Officers killed in the execution of their duty
• COPS (UK) – Death On Duty
• National Police Memorial Day – Killed or died on duty
Consideration was also given to criteria applied to other service memorials.
In September 2016 the Names Committee recommended by a majority vote, later adopted by Trustees the following criteria for inclusion of names on the memorial:
“A Police Officer or member of Police Staff who receives injuries in the execution of their lawful duty from which they subsequently die”
Execution of their lawful duty was considered to mean “as a direct result of their performance of operational duties, or their status as a police officer/Police staff and means any action which an officer/employee is obligated or authorised by law, rule, regulation, written condition of employment service to perform”
COPS wrote to the Memorial Trustees to express serious disappointment with the exclusion of some “on duty deaths” and agreed to meet with them to discuss further.
COPS (President, Life Vice-President, 2 Survivor Trustees, Chair of Trustees, Chris Sims & Chief Executive) met with representatives from PAMT (Sir Hugh Orde, Stephen Mann, Mick Foster) and David Wilbraham who chaired the Names Committee on 20th March.
PAMT indicated they would not attract the required funding for the memorial if the criteria for inclusion all deaths on duty . PAMT agreed to review how the names of officers recognised as having “died on duty” could be included in a tangible and meaningful way.
COPS understood the Names Committee would meet to make further recommendations on how and where names might be inscribed on the memorial. To date no meeting has been held.
April 2017 Public Launch of PAMT Fundraising Appeal delayed following announcement of General Election.
At the PFEW Conference in May 2017, Lord Stephens read a statement from HRH Prince William supporting the memorial and quoting more than 1,400 police officers and staff names would be inscribed on the memorial. COPS welcomes Prince William’s support but questions how and who made the assessment of the number of names to be inscribed on the memorial.
COPS welcomes the inscription of names on the Memorial, but believes the Memorial should recognise “On Duty” deaths as currently defined for police purposes.