It is ‘incredibly important’ that the service gathers to remember the thousands of police officers who have died while on duty, the Defence Police Federation has said.
Members of the police family gathered at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow for the 15th annual National Police Memorial Day to honour the more than 4,000 officers who have lost their lives on duty. The names of those officers who have died in the past year were read out.
HRH The Prince of Wales, who is Patron of National Police Memorial Day, was among those attending the service, led by Canon David Wilbraham. He was joined by Home Secretary Priti Patel; Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, more than 40 Chief Constables and 1,500 police officers and family members.
Defence Police Federation Chairman Eamon Keating said it was ‘incredibly important’ that fallen officers are remembered.
He said: “It is important as a fraternity for us to ensure that we remember all of those officers that have made that ultimate sacrifice for the force, for the public, for the nation.
“It appears that we are having more and more officers seriously injured or killed on duty, and I think it’s incredibly important that we recognise the sacrifice that those officers give because it’s more than a job, it’s more than just pay. This is a vocation.”
In the commemorative brochure, HRH The Prince of Wales said: “Policing in the United Kingdom has enormous pressures to contend with, no more so than on the front line. As society changes, so must the way in which we support and protect our communities. Your job is one of the toughest there is, and all too often your efforts go unrecognised.
“I am proud to be with you today, and I particularly want you to know how very much I appreciate all that you do, and the sacrifices you make. You and your families have a very special place in the heart of this nation.”
During the service, candles were lit for officers in each of the four nations. Representing Scotland was Margaret Sinclair and her daughter Patricia, for PC Leslie Sinclair, who died in 1972 following a road traffic collision.
Representing England was Rumbie Mabuto and her children Kenny and Sophia, for DC Joe Mabuto, who died after suffering a heart attack on duty. Representing Wales was William Parker, son of PC Andy Parker, who was killed in a motorbike crash when travelling home after a night shift.
And representing Northern Ireland was Margo Hetherington, daughter of Reserve Constable Jacob Rankin, who was fatally shot in 1978 whilst on duty by terrorists.
Andrea MacDonald, Chair of the Scottish Police Federation, read the names of officers who have lost their lives during the past year: PC Joseph Robert Cooke and Sgt Colin Michael Fox, both of the Met; PC Daniel Clayton-Drabble, PC Kevin Flint and PC Andrew Harper, all of Thames Valley Police; and PC Roy Buggins, of Police Scotland. The service also paid tribute to US Special Agent Nole Remagen, who died while on duty in Scotland.
There was silence as petals of remembrance, representing all who have lost their lives, descended from the gallery as the Last Post was sounded.