Five Met Police officers and staff have died from Covid in last 15 days

26 January 2021, 19:43 | Updated: 26 January 2021, 19:45

PC Michael Warren (left) and PC John Fabrizi were among those who lost their lives to Covid
PC Michael Warren (left) and PC John Fabrizi were among those who lost their lives to Covid. Picture: Metropolitan Police

By Megan White

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said she was "deeply saddened" after five serving officers and staff in the capital lost their lives to coronavirus in recent weeks.

Traffic Police Community Support Officer Chris Barkshire died on 11 January, with Police Constable Michael Warren, who was part of the Territorial Support Group, dying eight days later on 19 January.

Camden Police Constable John Fabrizi passed away on 25 January, and Police Constable Sukh Singh from the Met’s forensic command died yesterday after contracting Covid-19.

In the last 24 hours a Custody Sergeant from Met Detention has also passed away from coronavirus.

Three other Met officers and staff - Public Access Officer Ramesh Gunamal, PCSO Charles Harding and Call Operator Sophie O’Neill - died last year earlier in the pandemic.

Commissioner Cressida Dick said: “I’m deeply saddened by the news that in recent days and weeks Covid has taken five of our colleagues from us.

"Policing is a family and the scale of our loss is truly shocking. My deepest condolences are with the families, friends and colleagues of Police Constable John Fabrizi, Police Constable Michael Warren, Traffic Police Community Support Officer Chris Barkshire, Police Constable Sukh Singh, and our colleague from Met Detention, who will be named soon.

“They are the most recent Met police victims of this awful virus and we miss them, as we do our three colleagues, Public Access Officer Ramesh Gunamal, PCSO Charles Harding and Call Operator Sophie O’Neill, who died last year earlier in the pandemic and who we continue to grieve for.

“Covid has had a devastating impact on so many people across not just in London but the whole country. As this recent awful news shows, policing is not immune and it is inevitable that our officers and staff in fighting crime, responding to emergencies, and just in living within their communities will come into contact with the virus. Police officers and many of our staff cannot fight crime or protect the vulnerable by working at home.”

Pc Warren, who died aged just 37, joined the Met in 2005 and had served as a Territorial Support Group (TSG) officer for the last four years.

He was classed as "vulnerable" and had been shielding at home, working remotely to help his team, the Met said.

The officer died on 19 January after testing positive for Covid-19 earlier that week, leaving his parents Pauline and Alan, his partner Vicky and his daughter Eden, eight, and son Joseph, five.

Met Taskforce Chief Superintendent Karen Findlay said: "Mike was a lovely, genuine and hard-working police officer.

"To lose his life at the young age of 37 is truly heart-breaking and my deepest thoughts and sympathies are with all who knew him, particularly his parents Pauline and Alan, his partner Vicky and their lovely children.

"Mike was a devoted father and a good police officer. Across the Met and the TSG, he was a friend to many of his colleagues. He had a dry sense of humour and was often the heart and soul of a team in a TSG carrier.

"Outside of work, he was a passionate Spurs fan and dedicated his spare time to one of his life's other passions, motorbikes.

"Mike's passion for policing and serving the communities of London was unwavering, even after he started shielding at home so he could focus on his health given the current risk of Covid-19.

"He regularly went above and beyond to support his TSG colleagues virtually, doing anything he could to add value - our policing family has lost a kind, genuine and enthusiastic police officer.

"He was very much motivated to return to frontline duties, and he regularly spoke about how he looked forward to putting his uniform back on and going out on patrol with his colleagues.

"His death is a bitterly stark and upsetting reminder of the human impact of this virus, I know we will all miss him dearly."

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