Care of Police Survivors fully support the building of a UK Police Memorial in a way that is representative of all officers who have died on duty.
The view of the majority of bereaved fallen officers’ families, serving officers and retired officers, is that the new UK Police memorial should include, in a tangible and meaningful way, the names of ALL police officers who have lost their lives on duty.
Before any formal planning for the finished look of the memorial had taken place, COPS representatives made it clear to the trustees of the memorial that the overwhelming desire of the majority of families was to be able to see included all names of officers who died on duty. All the affected bereaved families are acutely cognisant that their loved ones’ deaths, not solely morally, but legally are categorised as a ‘death on duty’ – effectively, all these officers made the ultimate sacrifice in keeping our country safe.
The ‘Died on Duty’ description is one that has been accepted by all in the Police service for many years. Its inception and implementation is universally recognised. For the memorial to change nationally accepted criteria would be totally wrong and an insult to those families concerned.
We were heartened that, during discussions with the memorial trustees, they accepted the validity of our argument for the inclusion of all names. We were reassured that it is not the intention of the memorial to reclassify ‘death on duty’ – an intention that now needs to be borne out by the memorial design. Furthermore, the memorial trustees gave an undertaking to consider how the names of all police officers who have died on duty could be included in the memorial in a tangible and meaningful way.
It was therefore, a devastating blow to the bereaved families that prior to any feedback from the memorial trustees, announcements were made which seemed to suggest that not all names would, after all, be included.
During the weekend of 19-21 May, we have once again been in contact with the memorial trustees. Assurances have again been given that the inclusion of all names in a meaningful and tangible way will be addressed at their next meeting and specifically with a view to reconvening an independent committee to consider how this can be done.
We are relieved to have received such assurances and urge the memorial trustees and committee to consider the effect and consequence it would have on those bereaved survivors of police officers who have died on duty, if the new memorial displayed names of only a minority.
Care of Police Survivors is a national charity supporting the surviving families of police officers who have lost their lives on duty.
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