Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Campaign to recognise fallen emergency workers with posthumous medals is gaining momentum, father of murdered police officer says ahead of National Police Memorial Day

The father of a murdered police officer says his campaign to recognise fallen emergency workers with posthumous medals is gaining momentum.

Bryn Hughes, whose daughter PC Nicola Hughes was killed in Greater Manchester in 2012, is urging the government to the turn the idea into law.

Both Labour and the Welsh government back his plan to award those who die in the line of duty an Elizabeth Cross.

The Home Office says it is “determined” to recognise the sacrifice of officers.

But it remains unclear if or when the proposal could become a reality.

Mr Hughes’ campaign, which has been ongoing for years, won the support of Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper in recent weeks.

Now former prison officer Mr Hughes, of Huddersfield, wants meetings with the Home Office and government to discuss details of how the scheme could work.

WATCH: Medals for Heroes campaigner Bryn Hughes has been awarded an MBE eight months ago

He told BBC Breakfast on Saturday: “What we’re asking for now (is), the government, the Home Office, now to pick it up and finish it off if you like.

“We’ve had assurances that it is a government priority for this year and then my next step now is to ask for that meeting and say, let’s have a look at this priority.”

His daughter PC Hughes, 23, was killed alongside fellow PC Fiona Bone, 32, in a gun and grenade ambush by on-the-run Dale Cregan. The pair had been falsely called to what they thought was a burglary in Tameside.

Mr Hughes says emergency workers killed on duty deserve to be “remembered and honoured” and he has been running marathons as part of his campaigning and fund-raising.

Speaking ahead of National Police Memorial Day on Sunday, he explained: “I’ve said all along with Nicola and Fiona and other officers we’ve lost, they’re there to protect the public, there to serve the public, and it’s quite right that they should be remembered and honoured when they lose their lives in those circumstances.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Every life lost in service to the public is a tragedy and our thoughts remain with every fallen officer and emergency service worker.

“The police do an extraordinary job and the Police Covenant recognises their bravery and commitment.

“We are determined to ensure the sacrifice officers make is recognised and the government has prioritised work to identify ways through which we can do that.”

The Elizabeth Cross, first awarded in 2009, is given to relatives of members of the armed forces who have been killed in action since the end of World War Two or as a result of a terror attack.

(Source: BBC)

(Image: SPVA/MoD/MOD, OGL v1.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26926459)


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