PC Keith Palmer was murdered in the horrific Westminster terror attack
A campaign backed by the Daily Express and our sister paper the Sunday Express is being launched to raise funds for the UK Police Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA) in Staffordshire which will be inscribed with the names of more than 1,400 officers and staff who died from injuries sustained while carrying out their lawful duties.
The new Met Commissioner Cressida Dick writes exclusively in the Daily Express today about "the fragility of the thin blue line protecting the public".
She movingly recalls the recent death of PC Keith Palmer in the horrific Westminster terror attack, and the shooting of PC Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan Embassy in London in April 1984.
She added: “Keith and Yvonne and the many others like them were denied their tomorrows."
To honour those who have laid down their lives the Daily Express is backing a nationwide campaign to raise funds to build the memorial.
The names of officers and staff who laid down their lives will be inscribed on the 50ft high monument that will be built within a dedicated remembrance garden.
A model of the proposed memorial dedicated to fallen police officers
Keith and Yvonne and the many others like them were denied their tomorrows
It will become a place of reflection and complement other sites around the country, notably the National Police Memorial in The Mall in London.
Prime Minister Theresa May is backing the project, which will cost an estimated £4million, of which £2.5million has already been secured through central government and other generous donors.
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Another £1.5million is needed, which as well as the memorial will also go towards supporting families of officers who have died on duty, setting up a “digital memorial” in the form of an interactive website that will tell individual stories of bravery and establish a school outreach programme.
The fundraising campaign is being officially launched next month in partnership with Express Newspapers and talk radio station LBC.
PC Yvonne Fletcher was shot outside the Libyan Embassy in London in 1984 The funeral of PC Keith Palmer in pictures Mon, April 10, 2017
The funeral of the police officer who lost his life in the Westminster terror attack is scheduled for today at 2pm. His body was transferred to the Palace of Westminster yesterday, where a private memorial service was held for members of his close family
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Police officials and mounted police lead the hearse carrying the coffin of London Metropolitan Police Officer PC Keith Palmer during his funeral parade
Paul Ashford, Editorial Director of Express Newspapers, said of the project: “We are backing the memorial because Daily and Sunday Express readers recognise the role of the police in protecting our community, sometimes even at the cost of their own lives, and agree that the heroism and sacrifice of thousands of policemen and women should have a national memorial of the highest order at the National Arboretum.”
Sir Hugh Orde, chairman of the UK Police Memorial Trust, said: “Four weeks ago a vicious and completely unprovoked attack occurred in our capital city which saw the murder of Pc Keith Palmer and four other innocent members of the public.
A memorial service for PC Fletcher in 2014
“Pc Palmer’s death has put greater emphasis on the need to create a place where the nation can honour and commemorate our police service and where family, friends and colleagues of those killed on duty can go to carry out personal acts of remembrance.
“The NMA is the place where the nation can go to remember our services and the men and women who have been killed in the course of their duty for their country.”
Information on how to make a donation or take part in fund-raising activity can be found at ukpolicememorial.org