'The names will keep growing': Former officer's stirring reaction to national police memorial

28 July 2021, 17:12

By Tim Dodd

The names on police memorials in the UK will 'keep on growing' this ex-officer tells LBC, stressing that police 'know the danger they face' in the job.

It comes as Prince Charles and Boris Johnson have unveiled a national memorial dedicated to police officers who "put their lives at risk to keep us safe".

The UK Police Memorial commemorates almost 5,000 police officers and staff who have died on duty - 1,500 from acts of violence - since half-brothers Henry and John Fielding established the Bow Street Runners in 1749, the first professional police force.

Shelagh spoke to Steve Lloyd, a trustee at the Police Memorial Trust and a former officer with over 30 years of service.

He gave LBC his reaction to the memorial: "It will be very important, not just to the officers, but to the families, the loved ones, and the colleagues who've gone before them unfortunately."

Shelagh then said: "Even when I've reported on the killings of a couple of police officers over the years, the blow that all police forces feel on a day like that is palpable."

Mr Lloyd replied: "Even though people keep saying that police officers go willingly to do their duty... they know the danger they face. There's no point in people saying they don't know what they're going to face - they do."

When discussing the current UK police memorials, he added: "Those names are going to keep growing. We know that there will always be another name to be added sooner or later."

LBC's Nick Ferrari, who hosted the ceremony, told Shelagh what all about the "poignant" moment, branding the memorial "absolutely spectacular."

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Shelagh put the PM's comments about his 'love, respect, and care' for police to Mr Lloyd, saying: "It seems to me that will land on a few police officer's ears as a bit hollow, as they have had severe cuts, they are under huge pressure aren't they?"

"It's historical record that police funding has been cut," Mr Lloyd replied.

"We've had only this week the police federation asking for more money. So officers out there would appreciate a bit more respect from the public."

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Amongst those paying their respects were three boys who remembered the grandfather they never got to meet on the site of the new national memorial.