Force honours fallen at national dedication
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The force took part in the ceremony to dedicate the new UK policing memorial.
Representatives from Leicestershire Police joined police forces from around the country to mark the dedication of a new memorial to police officers and staff who died in service.
The new UK Police Memorial, located at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, honours the courage and sacrifice of all those from across the police service who have dedicated their lives to protecting the public.
The Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police, Simon Cole QPM, joined HRH Prince Charles, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, police chiefs, charities and families representing those that have lost their lives at the official dedication ceremony.
Alongside chief officers, every force was also represented by an officer as standard bearer and a family who had lost someone in service.
Leicestershire was represented by the family of Sergeant Brian Dawson. Geordie, as he was commonly known, died after being shot while attending an incident in Knighton in September 1975, in which two other people were also shot and killed.
Geordie’s son Kevin, who attended with his wife Linda, said: “It is great to finally have somewhere you can go and remember and reflect in peace and quiet.
“I had just turned 18 when I found out my Dad had been shot and killed. It was a massive shock but it is a moment I still vividly remember to this day.
“It was a big honour to represent Leicestershire Police families and be part of the occasion.”
Simon Cole, Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police, said: “It was an honour to represent Leicestershire Police at such an important and poignant occasion.
“We will now be able to remember fallen colleagues and reflect on their service for the community in such a powerful setting.
“The National Memorial Arboretum is a special place of remembrance so to have a dedicated memorial for policing there for people to visit feels very fitting.”
PC Kevin Bagshaw, a Neighbourhood Patrol Officer based in South Leicester, was chosen to act as the force’s standard bearer for the occasion.
PC Bagshaw said: “I was very honoured to have been asked to represent the force at such a big national event. I have been with the force seven years and previously served in the military for 22 years so the arboretum is a special place for me.
“I have previously acted as standard bearer on occasions like Remembrance Sunday and at the force carol concert but nothing quite like this.
“We all lined the route as HRH Prince Charles and the Prime Minister made their way to and from the memorial.”
Since 1749 and the establishment of the Bow Street Runners as the country’s first recognised police force, almost 5,000 police officers and staff have died whilst policing our communities, over 1,500 through acts of violence.
The National Memorial Arboretum is the national place of all-year remembrance for all our services. It is home to almost 400 thought provoking memorials, including the National Armed Forces Memorial, and attracts over 300,000 visitors per year.
The £4.5million UK Police Memorial project is not just a physical tribute at the Arboretum. A digital memorial is being developed that names all 5,000 police and staff lost, with a number of enhanced profiles already produced, that tell the stories of those behind the badge; and an education programme is being created for students that tells the story of the history of our police service and the important role it plays in today’s society.
For further information please visit www.ukpolicememorial.org
The National Arboretum is open all year around and the UK Police Memorial. To plan your visit please visit www.thenma.org.uk