Chief Constable says this year’s National Police Memorial Day has ‘added significance’

The Chief Constable of Dyfed Powys Police says the National Police Memorial Day will take on added significance this year after the death of Inspector Gareth Earp.

Richard Lewis will join representatives of the Force and the Dyfed Powys Police Federation, as well as colleagues from across the UK at this year’s service to pay their respects and to remember those officers who have been killed or died in the line of duty.

Officers being remembered will include father-of-three Gareth, who died in June following a collision as he travelled home from work on the A470 near Rhayader.

Richard said the National Police Memorial Day was a chance to show support for the families of fallen officers.

Particularly poignant

He said: “Inspector Gareth Earp was lost to us at Dyfed Powys this year and so it is particularly poignant this year.

“While we spend personal time on a daily basis reflecting on the ultimate sacrifice made by officers, the National Police Memorial Day is an opportunity to externalise that reflection together and to remind the families left behind that we remain committed to them and that the profound loss they’ve suffered is honoured forever.”

The National Police Memorial Day is rotated around the four nations of the United Kingdom and is held on the closest Sunday to 29 September, which is St Michael’s Day, the patron saint of policing.

Wales is hosting this year’s service. Following a venue change, it will now be taking place at the New Theatre, in Cardiff on Sunday 24 September.

 

 

Taking great satisfaction from it being held in Wales, Richard said: “I’m proud that Wales is hosting the event this year and we get an opportunity as a nation to contribute to the ongoing responsibility to honour the fallen.”

He said the day was important for the families of fallen officers and for their colleagues.

“It’s vital that an annual act of remembrance continues and that families of our fallen colleagues see that we remember and honour the sacrifice,” he said.

“Families tell me how important events such as this are, but I also think it's important that the officers working today, who recognise the danger within which they sometimes work, see that when the ultimate sacrifice is made, we gather around the family that is left behind and support them.”

The National Police Memorial Day was first held in 2004 and is supported by royalty, government and UK police services.

It provides a dignified and sensitive service of remembrance to honour the courage and sacrifice of the almost 4,000 police officers who have been killed on duty.

An online tribute wall has been launched for people to add their own messages to remember fallen officers.

And Richard encouraged Dyfed Powys Police officers to attend the service if they are able to.

It’s a unique and moving service worthy of attendance,” he said. “Each time I attend, I come away profoundly moved by the contributions made during the service and the dignity afforded to the families that grace the event with their attendance.”

Visit the National Police Memorial Day website for more information including how to book your place at the service.

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