Belfast Telegraph

Tributes paid to fallen police

Society must never forget the selfless sacrifice of police officers who have given their lives in the line of duty, a memorial service on Sunday heard.

Northern Ireland Justice Minister David Ford told guests at the annual National Police Memorial Service in Belfast officers who serve the community must not be taken for granted.

Home Secretary Theresa May joined police chiefs and friends and family of fallen officers from around the UK at the remembrance event in the city's Waterfront Hall.

Mr Ford, Northern Ireland's first locally-appointed law and order minister in almost 40 years, paid tribute to police who paid the ultimate price while on duty.

"It is an immense privilege to attend this service today and an honour to be the first locally-elected Justice Minister to participate in this dignified and sensitive occasion," he said.

"Police officers regularly put their lives on the line serving all sections of the community and we should never take what they do for granted. The people of Northern Ireland are served by some of the best police officers in the world, who are working in very difficult, challenging and dangerous circumstances.

"Today I want to express my sincere gratitude to all officers who give so much to the community on a daily basis and today, in particular, to the officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

"My thoughts are with the families of those who mourn their loved ones. Society must never be allowed to forget their selfless service."

The memorial day service rotates around the UK each year. The last time it was held in Belfast was in 2006.

Seven officers were added to the roll of honour in the past 12 months, including Pc Bill Barker who was swept to his death in the Cumbrian floods, and Pc Daniel Cooper, whose patrol car crashed into a tree while he was responding to an urgent call for assistance from other officers in Wiltshire.


From Belfast Telegraph