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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 April, 2005, 13:02 GMT 14:02 UK
National police memorial unveiled
The Queen unveiling the memorial
The memorial to 1,600 officers was unveiled by the Queen
Thousands of police officers killed in the line of duty have been honoured with a National Police Memorial in central London, unveiled by the Queen.

The marble and glass column, containing an honour book with the names of 1,600 officers, is positioned in The Mall.

Unveiling the memorial, the Queen said the "courage" of those it represented was an "inspiration" to others.

Designed by architect Norman Foster and artist Per Arnoldi, the tribute is the brainchild of director Michael Winner.

The Queen made a short speech before laying a wreath.

She said: "It is surely appropriate that this should be positioned in The Mall - an area of London so often associated with our national way of life.

They are the names of officers who were shot, run down, stabbed, blown up, beaten to death or knifed
Michael Winner

"When people pass by the memorial, I hope they will pause and reflect on the proud traditions that it represents.

"The courage and personal sacrifice recorded here will, I am certain, serve as an inspiration to us all."

The unveiling is the culmination of a 10-year campaign for a monument by Mr Winner, who set up the Police Memorial Trust in the wake of the shooting of WPc Yvonne Fletcher in 1984.

Ms Fletcher was killed while on crowd control duty outside the Libyan Embassy during a demonstration.

Mr Winner said the memorial was a tribute to those who fought a war without end.

Pointing to the names of the 1,600 officers inscribed on the memorial who have been killed since 1900, he said:

National police memorial
The monument was designed by Sir Norman Foster

"They are the names of officers who were shot, run down, stabbed, blown up, beaten to death or knifed.

"That is what I call the sharp end of the rule of law. It is a grand concept but at the end of the day it boils down to the young men and women on the beat without whom there would be anarchy."

He said the families of those who died, who had felt "unappreciated", were "delighted with the memorial.

Prime Minister Tony Blair, Tory leader Michael Howard and Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy also attended the ceremony.

We now have to have the attitude of a soldier going into combat on a day-to-day basis
Pc Norman Brennan

In a speech, Mr Blair said the memorial was to give thanks for the day-to-day work of the police as well as pay tribute to those who had died.

He said: "Thank you for your courage, thank you for your dedication, thank you for your commitment."

Chris Fox, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said it was "fitting" that there was now a national memorial to fallen officers.

Wpc Yvonne Fletcher
WPc Yvonne Fletcher inspired the Police Memorial Trust

The families of all those listed were invited to the ceremony, as was a constable from each force in the UK.

Among those who attended were WPc Fletcher's parents, Tim and Queenie, who paid tribute to their daughter.

Mr Fletcher said: "We know how much the families suffer. Nothing can bring our daughter back but it is very comforting to know that her name is one of those on a memorial here today.

"This will help thousands of people each year remember the dangers the police face during the course of their duties."

It will be always there for people like these and their families and children
Mary McCloskey

Other guests included Karl McCloskey, brother of Pc Ronan McCloskey, who was killed in 1987 as he tried to stop a drunk driver in Willesden, north London.

He said: "Seventeen years later you would think that time heals but it was a very moving ceremony and brought back a lot of the very powerful emotions."

Mr McCloskey was accompanied by his wife, Mary, and the couple's three children.

She said it was "important" for the children, who had never known their uncle, to have the chance to pay tribute to him and the other officers who died at the memorial's unveiling.

She said: "It will be always there for people like these and their families and children to come and view that book and remember those wonderfully brave people who gave their lives so that the rest of us can live in a much safer world."

See the site of the new memorial


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