Today has been a time to remember the sacrifice and bravery of many police officers. I felt it right to devote my blog to this important subject. There are many people who face difficult and challenging times at work, but there are few of us who will potentially put our own lives at risk to help others. It is why I still find I am immensely proud to work for one of the emergency services.
The loss of PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes affected a huge number of people. My thoughts have always been with those close family members who were going about their daily business only to have their world shattered by the horrific news that they were not coming home. They are remembered by many people and the memorial unveiled today will ensure that many more will remember them and the sacrifice they made.
Tonight are the Police Bravery awards in London when every police force will have an inspirational story about officers putting themselves at risk to protect others. I am always amazed by what officers do and after 17 years working alongside them this has not changed. We should all take some time to recognise the contribution made to individuals and communities, and say thank you. Say thank you because they do a job that most of us just would not be able to do.
Of course we know there is good and bad in everything and in every profession. Not all police officers provide selfless service to communities and unfortunately these few are often the ones that hit the headlines. Police communicators and others are doing what they can to highlight the acts of heroism and bravery, and where police officers and staff go above and beyond. Those are the stories that are worthy of recognition on a daily basis.
Today though is mainly about two colleagues – Fiona and Nicola – who were taken from their families, friends, Greater Manchester Police and communities. They must always be remembered, now and in the future, for the sacrifice they made. I hope their families found some comfort in the memorial unveiled today.