Eight weeks on from the murder of PC Keith Palmer in a terrorist attack in London, a major campaign is launched across the country today to help raise funds to build a new UK Police Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA).
Home Secretary, Amber Rudd said: “Every day, our police officers and staff go out to work not knowing what they might face, but do so with the utmost professionalism and bravery. We all owe them a huge debt of gratitude.
“That bravery was plain for everyone to see in the phenomenal response of the police to the shocking events in Westminster back in March, as a result of which PC Keith Palmer tragically lost his life.
“It is entirely fitting that those officers and staff who give their lives in the line of duty should be remembered with a lasting tribute. The Government has already committed £1m towards the UK Police Memorial and I hope the public also take this campaign to their hearts and recognise the importance of establishing a permanent place of remembrance.”
The UK Police Memorial will see:
* A physical memorial established in Staffordshire, set in a beautiful landscaped garden, inscribed with the names of over 1,400 police officers and staff who have died from injuries they sustained whilst carrying out their lawful duties.
* The first memorial in the world to merge a physical and digital presence, that tells the story of policing and those behind the badge who have paid with their lives.
* A programme developed for schools and colleges to inform pupils and students about the history of our police service and the part it plays in today’s society.
* A memorial that aims to foster a greater understanding and reconnection with the public and to bring back a sense of pride and value once more in UK policing.
* A memorial where the names of officers and staff who may be killed on duty in future years can be added and remembered.
* The establishment of a Living Memorial fund that can support the families of officers and staff killed on duty in the future.
Chair of the UK Police Memorial Trust, Sir Hugh Orde said: “PC Palmer’s death has put greater emphasis on the need to create a place where the nation can honour and commemorate our police service and where family, friends and colleagues of those killed on duty can go to carry out personal acts of remembrance.
“The NMA is the place where the nation can go to remember our services and the men and women who have been killed in the course of their duty for their country.
“We need to establish a fitting memorial that recognises the vital contribution that policing makes to our society and acknowledges the courage and sacrifice made by police officers and police staff who have paid the ultimate price. That tribute must become part of the fabric of our national life.”
Today’s fundraising campaign is launched in partnership with the national news talk radio station LBC and Express Newspapers.
LBC breakfast presenter Nick Ferrari said: “After the tragic events in London which resulted in the death of a brave police officer, there can surely be no better time to remember the sacrifices that officers like he and others have given down the years.
“This is our opportunity to thank the brave men and women who stand on the front line for our security twenty-four hours a day, every day of the week and every week of the year.”
Paul Ashford, Editorial Director from Express Newspapers, said: “We are backing the memorial because Daily and Sunday Express readers recognise the role of the police in protecting our community sometimes even at the cost of their own lives, and agree that the heroism and sacrifice of thousands of policemen and women should have a national memorial of the highest order at the National Arboretum.”
Further information about the Memorial, how to make a donation or take part in fundraising activity can be found at the UK Police Memorial website www.ukpolicememorial.org
Anyone making a donation of more than £20 will receive a black and white Sillitoe wristband inscribed with the words ‘courage and sacrifice’.