Northamptonshire’s Chief Constable has become the first senior serving police officer to publicly back calls for the creation of an ‘Elizabeth Medal’ to honour emergency workers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Bryn Hughes, the father of PC Nicola Hughes, who was tragically murdered along with PC Fiona Bone when they attended a false 999 call in Greater Manchester in 2012, spoke to BBC Breakfast about the ongoing Medals for Heroes campaign supported by the Police Federation of England and Wales.
He has made it his mission to keep his daughter’s memory alive and has been campaigning for a posthumous award akin to the Elizabeth Cross, which is awarded to the bereaved relatives of members of the British Armed Forces killed in military action.
Bryn provided an update on the campaign and spoke to BBC Breakfast about the new developments.
“We’re gathering lots of support from numerous MPs, and we had a question during PMQs which had a positive outcome.” He explained, “we have also heard from Johnny Mercer, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, who has made a pledge now that it will be a government priority for this year.”
Over the past year, PFEW has been working hard alongside Bryn, pressing for Home Office approval and is seeking cross-party support to enhance the current honours and awards system, which fails to adequately reflect the dedication, commitment and sacrifice of those individuals who lose their lives in the line of duty keeping their local communities safe.
Chief Constable Nick Adderley from Northamptonshire Police emphasised the importance of the medal.
“Every single police officer is affected by this,” he said. “When they lose a colleague there is a void that is left. This is not just for the families, but for every police officer and emergency service worker. The need is felt deeply, so they really want this, as do chief constables, and of course our police crime commissioner is also supporting the campaign.
“It’s incomprehensible to think that as a commander that two of your officers are not coming back, and you go to the briefing room the next day and there are two empty seats. While clearly our thoughts are with the families (…) two of your colleagues are missing and you never really get over that.”
Bryn continued: “I’ve said all along Nicola and Fiona on that day went to work like all our officers.
“Officers go to work to serve the crown, they wear a crown on their uniform, and what we need now is a formal recognition from the crown for the sacrifice those individuals and families have made.
“I would like it to be done overnight, but this is a slow process. It has got to be right and it’s got to be done correctly and we will persevere.”
To support our campaign on social media, post using the hashtag #MedalsforHeroes.
( Source: Police Federation )