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Heroic police officers and staff from across the UK who have died while protecting the public are now commemorated in a permanent memorial which was unveiled today at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
The new UK Police Memorial honours the courage and sacrifice of all those from across the police service who have dedicated their lives to protecting the public.
The ceremony, which was scaled back to conform with coronavirus restrictions, was attended by hundreds of guests, including dignitaries, senior politicians, and representatives from all police force across the country, policing charities and the families and friends of officers killed on duty.
Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan, who attended the event to represent South Wales Police, said:
“I was honoured to represent officers and staff, past and present, at the national unveiling ceremony today.
“Police officers and staff face risks every day to help keep our communities safe, and this fitting memorial will recognise the vital contribution that policing makes to our society.
“Like all police forces South Wales Police has faced tragedy with 17 local officers and staff having made the ultimate sacrifice since South Wales Police was formed in 1969.
“The memorial will provide a focal point for family, friends and colleagues of those killed on duty where they can go to carry out personal acts of remembrance.”
To coincide with the national event a local event was held at South Wales Police headquarters which was led by Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Gilmer and South Wales Police & Crime Commissioner Alun Michael. The ceremony included readings, a minute's silence, laying of wreaths, placing of flowers and a bugler.
Since 1749 and the establishment of the Bow Street Runners as the country’s first recognised police force, almost 5,000 police officers and staff have died whilst policing our communities, over 1,500 through acts of violence.
The National Memorial Arboretum is the national place of all-year remembrance for all our services. It is home to almost 400 thought provoking memorials, including the National Armed Forces Memorial, and attracts over 300,000 visitors per year.
South Police & Crime Commissioner Alun Michael said:
“Every hour of every day, the bravery, commitment and professionalism of police officers and staff across the United Kingdom ensures the safety of the public within their homes and communities.
“In his principles for establishing the police service in London, Sir Robert Peel recognised that the police are the public and the public are the police. The new UK Police Memorial will serve as a place where people can pay their respects to family, friends and colleagues who have been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in the execution of their duties.”
For further information please visit www.ukpolicememorial.org