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Police memorial honours those who 'run towards danger' to protect us, PM says
28 July 2021, 07:13 | Updated: 28 July 2021, 14:36
Boris Johnson has told LBC that the police are "indispensable" and deserve being commemorated ahead of the unveiling of a national policing memorial in Staffordshire.
Speaking exclusively to LBC's Nick Ferrari, the prime minister said the memorial was "massively important" to him and the country for remembering and honouring the country's police officers.
"This is massively important to me and the country because we need to remember that our police officers, men and women, are people who run towards danger, who put their lives at risk to keep us safe and that point cannot be repeated often enough," Mr Johnson said when asked about its significance.
"You know that the Peel Centre in Hendon, the Met have a memorial, there's another memorial in London.
"But so far there's been no proper national memorial for police officers at the national arboretum in the way that there are commemorations for so many other services, particularly the armed services.
"I think it's the right thing to do."
When asked why the memorial was being built on his watch, the PM told Nick Ferrari: "The police matter hugely to me, but also to our society.
"I think that they are indispensable as part of a society that can be fair and just and equal."
He went on: "Fighting crime is something that is, for me, basic, number one hygiene of government.
"We've got to make sure our streets are safe and getting safer and that depends on supporting our police, loving them and showing that we're looking after them."
The UK Police Memorial, located in the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, commemorates the courage and sacrifice of over 4,000 UK police officers who have been killed in service since the 1700s.
Wednesday's unveiling of the monument will be attended by Mr Johnson, and all chief constables, along with guest performers Katherine Jenkins OBE and the British Police Symphony Orchestra.
The ceremony itself is scheduled to begin at 1:45pm. The event will be broadcast online from midday.
There is also a separate digital memorial on the UK Police Memorial website.
"Wednesday will be a historic day for our police service," Chair of Trustees at the Police Arboretum Memorial Trust Sir Hugh Orde said.
"After seven years of fundraising and 12 months of construction, we can finally dedicate this beautiful and iconic memorial that pays tribute to the courage and sacrifice of all those police officers and staff who have paid the ultimate price."
He added: “As a nation, we owe all those who have laid down their lives to keep us safe and protect us from harm a huge debt of gratitude.
"This memorial will ensure that the memory of those officers and staff who have died lives on in perpetuity."