90 days from today is Sat, 16 March 2019
1 October 2018
Greater Manchester Police officers joined colleagues from across the UK to remember officers killed in the line of duty at one of the ‘most important’ days in the police calendar.
GMP Federation Chairman Stu Berry said National Police Memorial Day, this year held at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast, was an important way to show support to the families left behind.
Seven families of fallen GMP officers were in Northern Ireland for the event this year.
“It’s the most important date in our calendar and we’re here to support the families that have given the most that they can possibly give to policing,” said Stu.
“It’s a small family really, an extended family, and we’re here to support them.”
And it’s important the event remains in the police calendar he added.
“We don’t want numbers to increase but for as long as people remember the fallen, we will be there to support them.”
GMP Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said recent events in Manchester had brought the day into sharp focus.
“For us in Greater Manchester it’s just so close to home because of recent events where we’ve lost officers and for us to be here with families and for the whole police service for the United Kingdom to come together and just demonstrate that we won’t forget our colleagues is fantastic,” he said.
“But it also sends a really positive message to our communities that ultimately sometimes our colleagues do give their lives in the line of duty to protect our communities.
“So, this is an important day in the policing calendar and we’re absolutely delighted to be here supporting it.
“There’s 39 of us over from Greater Manchester, seven families of officers that have lost their lives and it’s a very poignant day but also a very special day.
“We have suffered recently as far back as 2012 with the loss of Fiona (PC Fiona Bone) and Nicola (PC Nicola Hughes). It’s just very raw still for those people that were involved, particularly their families.
“Both Bryn Hughes and Paul Bone, their fathers, are here today supporting us and they’re getting lots of support from the other families too,” he added.
CC Hopkins added the event was a unifying one for officers across the UK.
“It is a family and it doesn’t matter whether you’re serving in Northern Ireland, in Scotland, Wales or England. We’re one service for the UK,” he said.
“We all have the same aim which is to protect our communities that we’re all so privileged to serve. The fact that it [the Memorial Day] moves around the country means that different communities get to see the police family together and get to realise the sacrifice that some people make.”