Belfast Telegraph

Ex-chief Orde leads funding drive for police memorial

By Nina Massey

A former PSNI Chief Constable is leading a campaign to raise funds for a new police memorial, a month after PC Keith Palmer and four others were killed in the Westminster terror attack.

The UK Police Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA) in Staffordshire will be inscribed with the names of more than 1,400 officers and staff who died from injuries sustained while carrying out their duties.

Sir Hugh Orde, chairman of the UK Police Memorial Trust, said: "Four weeks ago, a vicious and completely unprovoked attack occurred in our capital city, which saw the murder of Pc Keith Palmer and four other innocent members of the public.

"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."

Sir Hugh was Chief Constable of the PSNI from 2002 to 2009. During his tenure, Stephen Carroll was gunned down by the Real IRA in Lurgan.

The memorial will consist of the physical tribute, a digital memorial, an education programme and Living Memorial fund that will support the families of officers and staff killed in the future.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "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 memorial will cost £4million to set up. So far, £2.5m has been raised.

It should be completed by 2018 or 2019.

Information on how to make a donation or take part in fundraising activity can be found at www.ukpolicememorial.org.

PC Palmer (48), who was married with a five-year-old daughter, was guarding the Houses of Parliament on March 22 when he was stabbed by Khalid Masood.

He was killed as he tried to prevent Masood from entering the area.

Masood, who had already driven into people on Westminster Bridge, was shot dead by police.

Four other people were killed and dozens injured in the 82-second atrocity.

Andreea Cristea (31), Leslie Rhodes (75), Kurt Cochran (54) and Aysha Frade (44) died after a car driven by Masood ploughed into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge.

Andreea, who was thrown into the river from the bridge during the brutal attack, tragically died in hospital 15 days later, becoming the fifth victim of the killing spree.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph