In June ground-breaking of the memorial, that commemorates fallen police officers and staff from England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, was carried out at the Arboretum by the fathers of murdered PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes, who were killed in Manchester in 2012.
Despite the challenges of coronavirus, the construction team has worked hard to keep the build work on track. At the end of November, the 30-foot brass doorway, that marks the entrance to the memorial, was moved into place.
Sir Hugh Orde, Chair of Trustees, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to start work on the memorial that will recognise the courage and sacrifice of those from our Police service who have given their lives.
“We have faced many challenges along the way, but despite these we are now within touching distance of creating a place at the Arboretum where those brave men and women who have paid that ultimate price can be commemorated and remembered.”
Over the next few months further build and landscaping work will take place on the memorial, that can be seen from the Visitors Centre at the Arboretum. It will be completed and open to the public in late spring or early summer of 2021.
Sir Hugh added: “We would not have got here without the generosity and support of those who have made donations, both large and small. My fellow Trustees and I are extremely grateful to everyone who contributed to this worthwhile cause that will create a fitting tribute to our Police service. A place where families and friends can go to remember their loves ones and where a grateful nation can go to say thank you.”
Plans for dedication ceremony
Plans for the dedication of the new UK Police Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum are taking shape. Sadly, the impact of Covid-19 has impacted on our original proposal for a ceremony for 1,500 guests to become an event for 300. Families of fallen officers and the Police service will be at the forefront of the ceremony, as we work hard with the NMA to create a Covid-19 safe event.
Stephen Kavanagh the Chair of the Dedication Committee – the former Chief Constable of Essex Police and now Executive Director of Police Services at Interpol – said: “It is hugely disappointing that we cannot hold a large-scale ceremony as planned. However, in the current environment our priority must be to keep people safe. We are working hard with the NMA to make this a special and memorable ceremony, which we intend to extend as widely as possible by streaming it live online. We also hope that forces across the country will hold local commemoration ceremonies with families, including parts of the service broadcast live from the NMA.”
Current plans are for the event to take place on a date between May and September 2021. Further details of how you can participate will be shared in due course and will be found on our website at www.ukpolicememorial.org.
PM says national memorial must stand as a fitting tribute to fallen police officers
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has paid tribute to those from the Police service who have given their lives and has stressed the importance of ensuring that their sacrifice is commemorated at the new UK Police Memorial.
The Prime Minister said: “Our officers demonstrate extraordinary courage each and every day, putting themselves at risk to prevent us from coming to harm.
“The selflessness of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect us must never be forgotten. It is therefore only right that we come together to honour those who have laid down their lives for us with this new national memorial, to stand as a fitting tribute to their courage and to tell their stories to generations to come.”
Fundraising this Christmas
Despite having raised most of the money for the new UK Police Memorial at the Arboretum, fundraising efforts continue. The physical build was only one element of this ambitious project and funding still needs to be generated to pay for the digital memorial, the education programme for schools and colleges, as well as maintaining the memorial site at the Arboretum for future generations.
Stephen Mann, Chair of the UKPM Project Committee, said: “We are delighted that thanks to the generosity of our supporters and benefactors we have been able to raise sufficient funds to complete the build work. However, our fundraising activities need to continue to fund the other elements of this project.
“In what has been a challenging year for all of those from our emergency services, the men and women from our Police service have continued to be at the forefront of keeping us safe and protecting us from harm. Sadly, for some from our Policing family, this year there will be an empty seat at the Christmas table.
“As we reflect on this past year please consider making a donation to the UK Police Memorial that will allow us to finish the project in its entirety. Thank you.”