A COPS History of the UK Police Memorial #allnames

Following the experience leading up to the unveiling of a Police Memorial at Horse Guards Road j/w The Mall, London 2005), the families of officers who died on duty sought support to erect a more “representative” memorial at the National Arboretum in Staffordshire. Despite several meetings there was insufficient funding, senior leadership or support to develop this at that time.

During 2013/2014 a group, led by Sir Hugh Orde and the PMAS set up a Trust to build a memorial at the Arboretum. Mick Foster (at the time Chair of COPS) became a Trustee for the new Memorial.

The Trust was formally registered in January 2015 and aims to honour the dedication, courage and sacrifice of members of the UK’s police service through the creation of a new UK Police Memorial at the NMA. The Trust is seeking to raise in excess of £4 million to build and maintain the memorial. In February 2015 the Trust launched the campaign and received a £1 million donation from the Government Libor fund.

In March 2014 COPS Chair of Trustees, Jan Berry, was invited to represent COPS on the Advisory Council of the Trust which would advise Trustees on who, how, when and where should be commemorated. The first meeting was in October 2014, JB highlighted need to work with survivors not impose a memorial on them as with the Memorial in the Mall and to be as inclusive as possible.

Architects (Wallace Jack) were appointed by the Trustees. Despite JB’s advice, the only survivor on the Advisory Council was Sid Mackay the Chair of Trustees of Police Roll of Honour Trust. Encouragement to broaden membership to include more survivors was resisted as the memorial was said to seek to celebrate policing as well as commemorate officers who had died on duty.

From early on the inclusion of names on the memorial became contentious. Consideration was given to different categories; death in service, death on duty, death due to criminal activity, in the process of arrest, road traffic accident, death from natural causes on duty. JB maintained that all “on duty” deaths should be included on the memorial.

Notes of a meeting of the Advisory Council on 28th November 2014 which JB was unable to attend indicate a consensus being reached including, “the memorial should avoid including a physical list of names to promote inclusivity and widen its purpose”. Reference was made to a cenotaph style memorial.

In January 2015, on receipt of the minutes from the November meeting JB raised concerns with MF about decisions being taken to exclude names and the need for the focus to be on remembering the sacrifice officers make rather than celebrating policing. MF emailed the Trust to support this and Adrian Leopard (Chair of Advisory Council) responded that the primary objective of the Memorial was one of commemoration. At the January Advisory Group meeting JB encouraged an open mind in respect of the inclusion of names before consultation with stakeholders.

Members of the Advisory Council were asked to consult on a set of principles which had been developed: the memorial should celebrate UK policing, commemorate all who served, be a place to contemplate and be informed about policing. A series of meetings between stakeholders and the architects were also arranged to assist with developing the design.

The architects met COPS members in Scotland with the Police Roll of Honour Trust, in Wakefield with NARPO and also met Sarah & Vicki Moore on a one to one basis. COPS developed an online survey and shared the results with the Advisory Group.

May 2015 feedback from stakeholder consultation was discussed, inclusion of names and which names continued to be a key issue throughout discussions.

•        COPS Survey [1] – 252 responses, made up of approximately equal proportions of survivors, retired police officers and serving officers completed survey. More than 75% of all respondents strongly believe the memorial should list names of fallen officers. If names are included, then 83% believe the names of all officers should be included, not just those killed through criminal acts. General support for online “virtual” commemoration.

•        Supt. Association –  very low response rate & mixed views expressed, support for memorial, unsure about names and extending to wider police family.

•        PROHT – support memorial, majority of trustees support having a memorial with names, ‘fallen in the line of duty’ i.e. those who have fallen as a result of the execution of their duty, support also for a digital display of 4.500 names.

•        NARPO – support memorial, inclusion of names would detract from the ‘intended iconic and generic concept’ and difficulty assessing criteria for inclusion.

•        NAPC – support memorial to commemorate and celebrate, ought not to single out particular names.

•        UNISON – support inclusion of police staff, generally felt names should not be on memorial, digital commemoration would be appropriate.

Further consultation by PAMT with public (886, now 1674 respondents) via online survey, equal number of serving, retired, support, survivor respondents, majority of respondents indicated names (on duty, pursuance of duty or criminal act) should be included on the memorial. Proportionately more serving officers believed the names of ‘on duty deaths’ should be inscribed on memorial. This survey finding was considered “not conclusive”, despite corroborating findings of COPS survey.

The surveys highlighted the primary purpose of the memorial should be to remember ‘lives given’ and not ‘celebrate policing’.

In November 2015, following the first view of proposed design, the Trust recognised that inclusion of names ‘still remains to be addressed’. Discussions took place about the number of names, ranging between 1,600+ and 4,000+, depending on criteria applied.

In February 2016 at the public fundraising launch of the proposed design, questions re names were ‘fudged’. This was followed by angry social media comments from survivors and others.

Trustees agreed to consider how permanent names could be included and established. Names Committee to advise on this through further stakeholder consultation, taking account of how other jurisdictions deal with this issue.

18th March 2016 representatives from NARPO, NAPC, Unison, PROHT, Supt Association & COPS were invited to sit as Independent Memorial Names Committee who would make recommendations to the Trustees of PAMT. The Committee reviewed who and how other jurisdictions commemorated officers. Broadly these were as follows:

•        National Memorial USA – Law enforcement officer killed or died in the line of duty

•        National Police Memorial Australia – Killed on duty or died as a result

•        Line of Duty Deaths (USA) – Line of duty deaths on or off duty, including associated injuries or illnesses

•        Essex Police Memorial Trust – Officer or employee who receives injuries in the execution of their duty from which they subsequently die

•        Officer Down Memorial – Felonious and accidental line of duty deaths, work related illnesses or deaths

•        Firefighters – Death resulting from an injury or illness sustained as a direct result of an activity consistent with the duties of a firefighter or operational support personnel

•        Police Roll of Honour Trust – British police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty

•        Scottish Police Memorial Criteria – “Officer died on duty or as a direct consequence of their duty”

•        Police Memorial Trust (Michael Winner) – Police Officers killed in the execution of their duty

•        COPS (UK) – Death On Duty

•        National Police Memorial Day – Killed or died on duty

Consideration was also given to criteria applied to other service memorials.

In September 2016 the Names Committee recommended by a majority vote, later adopted by Trustees the following criteria for inclusion of names on the memorial:

“A Police Officer or member of Police Staff who receives injuries in the execution of their lawful duty from which they subsequently die”

Execution of their lawful duty was considered to mean “as a direct result of their performance of operational duties, or their status as a police officer/Police staff and means any action which an officer/employee is obligated or authorised by law, rule, regulation, written condition of employment service to perform”

COPS wrote to the Memorial Trustees to express serious disappointment with the exclusion of some “on duty deaths” and agreed to meet with them to discuss further.

COPS (President, Life Vice-President, 2 Survivor Trustees, Chair of Trustees, Chris Sims & Chief Executive) met with representatives from PAMT (Sir Hugh Orde, Stephen Mann, Mick Foster) and David Wilbraham who chaired the Names Committee on 20th March.

PAMT indicated they would not attract the required funding for the memorial if the criteria for inclusion all deaths on duty . PAMT agreed to review how the names of officers recognised as having “died on duty” could be included in a tangible and meaningful way.

COPS understood the Names Committee would meet to make further recommendations on how and where names might be inscribed on the memorial. To date no meeting has been held.

April 2017 Public Launch of PAMT Fundraising Appeal delayed following announcement of General Election.

At the PFEW Conference in May 2017, Lord Stephens read a statement from HRH Prince William supporting the memorial and quoting more than 1,400 police officers and staff names would be inscribed on the memorial. COPS welcomes Prince William’s support but questions how and who made the assessment of the number of names to be inscribed on the memorial.

COPS welcomes the inscription of names on the Memorial, but believes the Memorial should recognise “On Duty” deaths as currently defined for police purposes.

[1] Responses from COPS survey:

  • 252 responses, made up as follows: 29% survivors, serving officers 26%, retired officers 31%, others 14%
  • With regard to the purpose of the memorial, 81% stated that it was essential to commemorate those who have given their lives in policing and asked if we need a new memorial, 70% stated “Yes, but only if it features the names of the fallen officers”.
  • In response to what the new memorial will mean to them 89% stated “a lot”, or “everything”, 20% and 69% respectively.
  • Regarding the frequency with which our respondents would visit the memorial, 88% replied “occasionally” or “regularly” (34% and 54% respectively) but, again, only if the names feature on the memorial. Without the names the responses dropped massively to 25% (19% and 6% respectively) while 23% said they would never visit the memorial if it has no names.


COPS Statement regarding the UK Police Memorial (published 24th May)

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.

Please direct any enquiries to admin@ukcops.org

‘We have lost one of our own as he acted to protect the public’

Keith Palmer

TRIBUTES have been paid to Met Police officer PC Keith Palmer – who died on duty in London protecting Parliament from a terrorist attack.

PC Keith Palmer – a member of the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command – was 48 years old, had 15 years’ service and was a husband and a father.

“He was someone who left for work today expecting to return home at the end of his shift and he had every right to expect that would happen,” said Mark Rowley, the national lead for Counter Terrorism Policing and the Acting Deputy Commissioner.

Leicestershire Police pays tribute to ‘dedicated bobby’

PC Austin Jackson

TRIBUTES have been paid to a Leicestershire Police officer who has died on duty.

PC Austin Jackson, 38, was taken ill and died at work on 16 March. He joined the force in 2007 and leaves behind his wife and four children.

Chief Constable Simon Cole said: “Austin was always a professional and well-liked police officer who embedded himself in the St Matthew’s community.‎

‘I Knew I Wouldn’t Be Alone’


A TEENAGER has told how COPS helped him rebuild his own shattered life after his police officer father died.

Nathan Dent’s father, the Met’s PC Chris Dent, died on duty on 22 April 2009, aged just 36. PC Dent left behind his wife and three children. Nathan was just 10 at the time.

“When my dad died, I didn’t want to go to school, I didn’t want to leave the house, I didn’t want to leave my room,” he said.

Our Super Supporters: Dynamic Duo

photo 5

Hardip Atwal has been a Special Constable in Scotland for 12 years. Graham Smith has 19 years’ police service and works in Police Scotland’s Serious Crime Division. Together, they have raised thousands of pounds for COPS.

Q. Thank you for all you do in support of COPS. How did you first hear about COPS and what made you want to support us?

A. We have been aware of COPS and the fantastic work it does for a number of years.

Our 2020 Vision


SURVIVORS have steered the progress we have made as a charity in the last 18 months. In the coming months, I will be asking you to once again take part in a wide ranging consultation – this time adjusting your foresight to perfect 2020 vision.

In summer 2015, we conducted an in-depth consultation to understand how Survivors viewed COPS and what Survivors wanted from the charity.

Ready For A Busy Year

Denis Gunn

I USED to think that the winter months were a relatively quiet time for our charity, with most events taking place in Spring, Summer and Autumn.

I can, however, assure you I was wrong, for the past few weeks have been far from quiet with a great deal of preparatory work going on behind the scenes for another busy year ahead.

‘Paul Will Be Greatly Missed By All Of Us’


MERSEYSIDE Police PC Paul Briggs sadly died on 21 January, 18 months after suffering serious injuries in a collision.

Paul joined Merseyside Police in 2004, following in his father’s footsteps by choosing a career in policing after leaving the Army.His first posting was in Wallasey. From there, Paul joined the Roads Policing Unit in 2007.

Dave Phillips Memorial walk to raise money for COPS

6554 miles

A MERSEYSIDE police officer will walk 65.54 miles in 24 hours to raise money for Care of Police Survivors.

PC Mark Hobin and his wife Leanne are taking on the challenge in memory of Merseyside PC Dave Phillips, whose collar number was 6554. The event will take place on Saturday 25 March, when the pair will walk around the Merseyside area.