Work starts on construction of UK Police Memorial
Construction work starts today (June 12) on the new UK Police Memorial to be built at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
The £4.5 million project is designed to create a fitting tribute to commemorate those police officers and police staff killed on duty across the UK since the formation of the Bow Street Runners in 1749.
The start of the build will be marked with a groundbreaking event when the earth will be broken by the fathers of police constables Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes, the two Greater Manchester Police officers killed on duty in September 2012.
Chair of Trustees Sir Hugh Orde said: “The National Memorial Arboretum is the place where all our services are remembered throughout the year. A place where people come for quiet acts of contemplation and reflection and a place where large scale acts of remembrance take place.
“Yet there is no fitting tribute here that honours those brave men and women from our police service who have given their lives to protect us all. A tribute that is in keeping with the scale of loss that our police service has suffered over the years. Today is the day that we change that.
“How fitting that today’s groundbreaking will be carried out by Paul Bone and Bryn Hughes, whose daughters were shot and killed while responding to a routine 999 call, eight years ago.
“When we set out on this ambitious project in 2015 we had no idea how challenging it would be. Along the way we have overcome many hurdles and setbacks. But after five years of determination, amazing support and dedicated fundraising we have finally reached the position where construction of the new UK Police Memorial can start.”
He added: “We have only been able to reach this point thanks to the generosity of individual benefactors, businesses, grant makers, government, police forces, staff associations and the wider public. I and my fellow Trustees are so grateful for all the support and tremendous fundraising that has taken place.”
The new UK Police Memorial has been designed by Walter Jack. It has been created for both personal acts of reflection by family and friends and major ceremonial events, with lawn space for 1,500 people. Construction work is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The memorial will be dedicated and open to the public by the spring of 2021.
Sir Hugh said: “The last few months have demonstrated to us all that we live in an uncertain world. Yet something we can be certain of, is that every day police officers will go out to patrol our cities, towns and villages, not knowing the dangers that they are likely to face or confront. Sadly there are some that won’t return home at the end of their shift. Their courage and sacrifice will now be commemorated and remembered forever here at the National Memorial Arboretum.”