POLICE ARBORETUM MEMORIAL TRUST, Police Federation of England and Wales and The Names Committee


Dear Sirs,
I am the widow of PC IAN WOODWARD 1036 Lancashire Constabulary.
My husband was murdered on 25/02/1987, he confronted a poacher who has served the last 29 years in prison and has now been let out on life license.
Even though he was on a rest day, Ian’s force put him ON DUTY at the time of his death due to the circumstances, I can give you a run down of these if need be.
My reason for contacting you is to explain that my late husband believed that he was a police officer 24/7 this may not be technically correct but police officers do believe this!
I am asking you to consider that the views of yourselves and some of your members,  in regard to the memorial are not in line with the thinking of SURVIVORS.
We are not asking for much and all we have been asking for from day one is, an all inclusive memorial.
ALL officers who have died whilst considered to be ON DUTY by their force to be remembered on a permanent, physical memorial.
Not a digital display.
If a force considers a police officer to be on duty then they should be on the memorial. Physically not digitally.
We and future generations need to touch our officers names and we need to be able to make rubbings of those names.
I can see by recent comments that you do not understand this as referrals have been made to granite memorials being ‘old fashioned’
Grief is old fashioned!
We need that physical representation of our loved ones!
Have any of you ever been to the memorials at Washington or WTC or Scotland or NI?
Have you seen the photos of loved ones touching names?

Have you any idea how we feel?
I know the answer to that has to be no, and I would never wish that any of you do!

We the survivors of fallen U.K. police Officers have been through the worst moments of our lives already….
I would ask you politely, to think about our views.

To be honest your views are irrelevant you may have the power to build this memorial in the way you see fit but at the end of the day if you do not consider the views of survivors you will probably be the only people standing at your memorial.
I hasten to add that at the moment it is YOUR memorial because the survivors have no feeling for it.
Yours most sincerely
Linda Woodward


UK Cops – From Small Acorns Do Great Oaks Grow

Thank you, NC.
A TRULY HEARTFELT ACCOUNT of our @UK_COPS Annual Memorial Service.
It was particularly emotional this year partly thanks to the Honour Guard of Police officers who lined The Beat but also because of the number of people and officers who attended. It was overwhelming and sad that so many new survivors were attending. Some who had lost officers years ago but only just found COPS and some who were recently bereaved. I talked to most of them and we shared our stories, peer support is what COPS is all about.
Thank you, NC for supporting our charity and for making us feel part of the police family again. It is so important to us that serving & retired officers recognise that we were once a part of the police service.
Lin Woodward
Police Widow

The Knock on the Door

Yesterday, I attended The Annual Remembrance Service of Care of Police Survivors @UK_COPS. I gave been attending since 2007. My daughter found COPS whilst trawling the net for some sort of support for our family. It was twenty years since Ian had been brutally murdered by a poacher on farm land near our home. As a police officer he considered himself on duty 24/7 and had offered to “keep an eye out” for the local farmer who having trouble with poachers.
After hearing gun shots he went to investigate and the consequences of those actions are now well known.
In those days there was no such thing as family liaison officers and once the funeral was over we were left to fend for our selves. We struggled through but occasions like 18th birthdays were very difficult.
When we found COPS and attended our first family weekend and first Remembrance Service it was a life changing moment…….


It was Wednesday, 25th February, 1987, my mum’s birthday,  and at twenty to one in the afternoon, I’d done a long early shift and was due to head home at one. My boss shouted me from the office, “Your daughter’s on the the phone!”………

Strange, why is she phoning me, now?
“Mum, Dad went out with the dog and he hasn’t come back!”
Usual sort of conversation ensued…
“What do you mean?”
“Well, he went out earlier with the dog and he hasn’t come back!”
“What time did he go out?”
“About ten o’clock but the dogs come back on his own and he’s covered in mud!”
Conversation started to feel anything but usual!
“Oh, don’t worry he’s probably talking to somebody…..”
(thinking…. for nearly three hours?)
“I’ll be leaving work in a few minutes, see you soon!”

After putting the phone down my mind was racing, my boss and…

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Today, I am speculating on the use of Social Media.

Is it good for us? Is it a healthy way to communicate with other people?

In the 60’s we thought that in the year 2000 and beyond we would be communicating and travelling like the Robinsons and the Jetsons.


In the 70’s we had Bulletin Board, a far cry from Facebook and Twitter but nevertheless a way of communicating via the airways.

Today, we aren’t little space travellers but life is run at a faster pace and virtually every man and his dog is computer literate and owns a device.
For me its iPhone and iPad and I am constantly interacting with people I have never met and never will meet, I wake up in the morning and tweet away. I alternate between FB and twitter and I write my blog posts.

I actually, worry endlessly about my communications! It seriously concerns me. I get hurt and upset when things are said or not said. I am mortified when I don’t get a retweet or a like!

I am a small player in the big wide world of SM, most of the people I follow have thousands of followers. Some of the people I follow are so on top of their game they manage to interact in a friendly and supportive manner with even the small fry like me!

Am I a vulnerable user of Twitter? Probably, but I’m not a lot different from anyone else! Even the big boys are vulnerable and even the big boys get hurt! SM can be a cruel place. It can be a lonely place, even with your thousands of followers!

I get drawn into Twitter World and often I become part of a conversation or thread and I think I am part of that little network of ‘friends’. Then, it ends and I realise well actually no I am not part of it, I have stuck my “two-penneth” into that thread but none of them know me or are really interested in me or what I have had to say! They will drop me like a hot potato and never tweet at me again!
So, I have a sulk, throw my toys out of the pram, become dispirited and consider deactivating my account!

Then…… Someone pops me on a list!
A list of “interesting people” and I have a little rethink!


It’s not too bad really! I’d miss it if I junked it……
and I so love the challenge of saying what I need to say in those 140 characters!

*Talks self back into tweeting! #suckered!*

So here it is, this is what really bothers me about SM!

This is my main question and my main concern!

Are these people my friends?

If I have communication with them outside twitter does that make them my friends?

If we DM each other are we friends?

If I meet them does that validate our ‘friendship’?

Are the communications between others on twitter, those of real friends or do they also just know each other through tweeting?

These are the questions about SM plus many, many more that I ask myself constantly!

This is a favourite of mine from FB, some might say it answers one of the questions!

FB friends


So, what did I do before Twitter and FB? What did any of us do?

Everywhere you go now, most people have a media device in their hand and as soon as we stop moving out comes the phone.

In the past, did we spend that time thinking? Did we people watch? Did we talk to other people? Did we strike up a conversation with a stranger and maybe make a new friend?

The first thing I do when I go somewhere interesting or boring for that matter, is check in on FB! Post my pics and let my friends and family know how I am feeling and who I am with.
Lin is at…… Feeling 😄 with…….

My life is an open book! On display for all to see!

From my own perspective Facebook is a different animal to Twitter I keep FB for my real life friends and family. People I truly know and have actually spent time with………

Do I?
Well, actually No!

I have recently broken my own FB rules and become FB friends with some people I met on Twitter!
For me FB is up front and personal and when I introduce people I don’t really know things get a bit edgy and I start worrying.

I don’t use FB to it’s true potential, I rarely look on other people’s walls as I feel like a stalker or a voeyer! If its not on my timeline or newsfeed I don’t see it!

I worry about my posts, I worry what people think, I worry if I like too many of one persons posts! I worry if I am boring and I worry incase I have shared too much! Actually, sometimes I do share too much!

Sleepless, nights ensue!
Should I have a clear out, should I unfriend some people?
Will they know? Of course they will!
Will they care? Probably not!
Will I be able to continue a tweeting ‘friendship’ with them once I’ve dumped them on FB?

These, are only some of my constant SM dilemmas!

So what am I doing in SM World?

Am I isolating myself from the world I am actually living in and transporting myself into a virtual land along with people I have never met?

Yes, I am!

So, is SM good for me?

Of course it is!

It keeps me thinking, it makes me research.

It makes me read and listen to the views of others, people who may or may not be my friends!

It introduces me to different and exciting places in the world.

It teaches me about new subjects and it allows me to develop views of my own, on subjects I have never thought a lot about before.

I have real life friends who hate it and fear it and I have real life friends who love it, like I do

and yes….. sometimes, it is a bit scary and sometimes it gets the better of us

but surely…

something which allows us to develops our skills,

keeps our minds engaged and active,

and promotes knowledge and good causes has to be a GOOD thing!



Still Waiting……..

This is not the first time I have had to deal with a parent with mental health issues!
It’s not easy! Parents are the ones who look after you, parents are strong, parents are, well…. parents!
I am the child, I’m pushing sixty but I am still the child! They are the parents!

Dementia doesn’t give a toss who is the parent or who is the child! Dementia comes into your life like a plague, it wipes out everything! Everything you know, everything you are familiar with and everything you love!
It takes away memories and recognition!
It turns a normal mild mannered, loving and considerate human being into an abusive, violent, old person, obsessed with sex!
Well, it can do all of these things and yes, it can do other things but this is what it is doing to us!
Dementia, doesn’t give a flying duck for any of us!

The sufferer or the suffering, the family or the patient!

The Alzheimer’s Society says this:
“All types of dementia are progressive. This means that the structure and chemistry of the brain become increasingly damaged over time. The person’s ability to remember, understand, communicate and reason gradually declines.
How quickly dementia progresses depends on the individual. Each person is unique and experiences dementia in their own way.
The way people experience dementia depends on many factors, including physical make-up, emotional resilience and the support available to them.”

What I don’t understand is the speed in which it has rampaged through the mind of my elderly parent. Eight weeks ago he was poorly but his mental health was ok.
That’s ‘ok’, not perfect but ok.

A bit of background might help here.

Previously, a couple of falls had resulted in time on the floor, paramedics being called and hospitalisation. On the first occasion a UTI was diagnosed which explained the temporary confusion. Once in hospital things became decidedly worse and MPA was used to get oxygen back into his system. Short period in hospital, pacemaker fitted, back to normal.
On the second occasion another night on the floor because the heart was not behaving itself and so he was once again admitted to hospital.

I feel I must explain the ‘nights on the floor’……
Emergency call button is in place, necklace with button is worn every day and all of the family have numbers programmed into the phone! I live across the road a two minute walk.
So, why has my elderly parent on two separate occasions spent a long, cold night on the floor?
You must have heard this one before…. “I didn’t want to make a fuss love, I knew you would be over eventually”!
What can you do? What can you say? How can you counter a life time of “not making a fuss”? A life time of only call the doctor if you are really poorly, never call an ambulance unless you are on death’s door and God forbid you needed a police officer…. It would have to be a murder!
So, this is why my parent chose to spend the nights on the floor unable to get up, unable to return to the warmth of his bed and unwilling to phone his family or carer givers.

So, lets get back to the evil disease that is dementia.

In mid December we once again found ourselves on the daily roundabout that is hospital visiting.
Like the parents we are also not the sort of people who like to make a fuss.
Obvious, I suppose when you consider our upbringing.
Respect, respect, respect!
Respect for authority!
The police officer, the paramedic, the fireman, the nurse, all the 999 services were revered in our family.
Doctor knows best, never argue with the doctor just do as he tells you.

Doctor says “not fit to go home” then that’s the way it has to be! The old mantra of “they only keep you in hospital if you need to be there” is true, isn’t it?
So when Christmas came and went and the old year turned into the new and the parent was still in the hospital WE were still doing as we were told and having respect and being good children!

As we strolled into January we had no idea why things started to take a dramatic turn for the worse because there was no UTI, oh actually, yes there was a UTI and…..

The kidneys were damaged no the kidneys were fine. There were no MH issues but he is very confused and suffering from delirium with onset dementia! He is very poorly you know! Doctor says he is fit to be discharged here is the paperwork!
Oh dear me no! what makes you think he is coming home, he is a very poorly gentleman!

Sorry but you told us yesterday that……..

We had no idea if we were coming or going, one nurse told us one thing another told us something else. There was no consistency and no agreement!

Don’t get me wrong, we were asking questions and we were trying to get answers. We may be respectful but we aren’t stupid. Things weren’t right so now we took advice and we started to push a little! Big step!
Same response!
No UTI, we were told! No MH issues, we were told! Bloods ok, we were told! Actually, there is nothing really wrong with him, we were told!

In the run up to Christmas we could see MH issues developing.
We would visit to be told he had been inappropriate with the nursing staff, that he had been arguing with other patients, he had thrown things, banged things and shouted aggressively. Other patients had reported to staff that he was talking nonsense and other patients told us that he was very confused.
We would visit to be told by the parent that his possessions were being stolen, that he was once again onboard ship in the engine room and that the man in the next bed was Arthur ‘such a body’ an old shipmate!
Alarm bells were beginning to ring!

They moved him into and out of a private ward twice, he had a bug! He recovered.
‘We are hoping to move him to the cottage hospital’, they said ‘but there is no bed.’

On Christmas Eve a bed was available but apparently he was too poorly to go and they would not take him with his present MH issues!

I have to say that at this point in the narrative I am confused as to which thing happened next and who said what to whom, by this point we were tearing our hair out and hadn’t a clue what was going on!

About, two weeks into December we had had a brief meeting with a registrar who told us the parent had had a memory test and had passed with flying colours and that medically there was nothing wrong with him!

So what MH issues were we talking about, here?

Our biggest worry had been that they would decide to send him home to a cold, empty house on Christmas Eve! The parent would not have wanted to stay with any of us as this was not what he did, so we sought assurances that this would not happen!

“I’m not being funny doc but its nearly Christmas and it doesn’t matter to me whether he is in or out I will deal with it but I need to prepare ONE WAY OR THE OTHER!”

A Multidisciplinary Team meeting had been suggested on several occasions but hadn’t happen. The doctor assured us that the parent would not and could not be sent home now that a MDT meeting had been called for.
So we set ourselves to wait until after Christmas.
I have to say I wasn’t convinced with his assurances and when unbeknownst to us the parent had yet another meeting with the memory nurse and she pronounced him perfectly fine and said she had no concerns we all began to worry and when a MDT meeting was suggested for Christmas Eve we said, ‘Not on your nelly!’

Long story, short…. we got through Christmas. We visited him every day, as usual. We took him presents and cards that he didn’t want and we took him a Christmas Cracker and a small homemade sherry trifle which he thoroughly enjoyed!

Lulled into a false sense of security I decided to risk Hogmanay in Scotland! Yep, you guessed it MDT meeting was arranged whilst I was away and could only be held on the 2nd January which was the day I was due to travel home on my pre booked train!
Not a problem! Let the other members of the family deal with it and if necessary I was on the mobile or Skype or FaceTime.

You can understand that by now I was having concerns about my own MH, this is not a joke. The stresses and strains of the situation were beginning to tell on me.
The ups and downs and the inconsistent messages we were receiving were hard to deal with and the parent was not himself!
My family went home together and discussed the situation, I went home on my own and opened a bottle of wine!
On top of everything out of the blue the parent who apparently had nothing wrong with him suddenly decided to deposit himself on death’s doorstep! We actually at this point thought he was a gonna!
However, as my kids keep saying he is a trooper and would you believe it he pulled through and within a few days he was back in the chair!

I can’t actually, believe that we are only three weeks into the new year as it feels like a life time has passed.
The parent’s house has been empty for weeks, the post has not been dealt with and it’s a good job the bills are all on DD as here lies another problem with our good old friend dementia! Power of Attorney! We missed the boat! Like many people we did not set this up in advance. BIG mistake! We talked about it but we didn’t do it! So when we went to see the solicitor and we told him that the parent had passed the two memory tests but that in our honest opinion he would not be able to answer simple questions like, Who is the current Prime Minister and What date is your birthday, and that there was a big MH test pending, he told us we would have to wait for the results and he made reference to The Court of Protection.
We had already Googled the Court of Protection and knew that that was a tortuous and expensive process!

So here we were, waiting!
Waiting for a move to the cottage hospital? Waiting for him to come home? Waiting for him to go into a home? Waiting for a MDT meeting?
We were just waiting.
When the meeting came it achieved nothing! At the end of it we were no further forward and still waiting.

As the days passed the MH of the parent went from bad to worse. Mostly, he knew who we all were and he asked questions about the family but there were more days now when he was making no sense at all.
There were more days when he had no idea were he was and thought he was in church, in the cinema or at work!
We didn’t know why and no one had any answers. He withdrew further and further into himself. He refused newspapers, TV and radio. He was not walking, his legs and feet were swollen. His general demeanour was morose! He was extremely inappropriate and rude to the nurses and the ladies in the family. He was irritable and irate and then he smashed the glass in his hospital door with his walking stick!

I have to say the staff were very nice about it, my personal dread was that he would do something which would result in the police being called. This would have been the worst case scenario for an old man who had aways been a hard working, law abiding citizen. A man whose uncle and son-in-law had both been police officers.
I had seen police officers sitting outside a room of an elderly patient and I had wondered what the story was. What would they do? What could they do? Restrain him? Arrest him? He may have been weak in his mind but as the nurses kept saying, “He is a very strong man!” So, I was terrified!

The situation was however, calmed by the nursing staff and all respect to them, so when I visited on the Sunday the only evidence of the violent outburst was the boarded up window and the parent had no memory of it!

On the Monday they moved him to the cottage hospital!

On the first night he was inappropriate to two nurses and he started to shout, loudly.
They let him sleep in a chair in the lounge and when we visited the next day they complained that they hadn’t been fully informed regarding his MH issues!

He’s been there a week, now.

He has no memory of his stay in hospital, he doesn’t know where he is!

He calls constantly for his wife who has been dead for five years!

He has fallen out of bed and has a lump on his head and a black eye!

He cannot walk and he has a catheter fitted!

His hands and feet are swollen!

He keeps his eyes closed and he cannot make conversation!

He stands up and sits down again.

He calls on The Lord for help and he shouts at God because of his ailments!

He does not know who any of us are!

Tomorrow, at 10.30 am we have a MDT meeting…………

This afternoon I asked him a question.

“Do you know who I am, Dad?”

“No, love! I have no idea who you are!”

The Knock on the Door

It was Wednesday, 25th February, 1987, my mum’s birthday,  and at twenty to one in the afternoon, I’d done a long early shift and was due to head home at one. My boss shouted me from the office, “Your daughter’s on the the phone!”………

Strange, why is she phoning me, now?
“Mum, Dad went out with the dog and he hasn’t come back!”
Usual sort of conversation ensued…
“What do you mean?”
“Well, he went out earlier with the dog and he hasn’t come back!”
“What time did he go out?”
“About ten o’clock but the dogs come back on his own and he’s covered in mud!”
Conversation started to feel anything but usual!
“Oh, don’t worry he’s probably talking to somebody…..”
(thinking…. for nearly three hours?)
“I’ll be leaving work in a few minutes, see you soon!”

After putting the phone down my mind was racing, my boss and I discussed it and decided I should go home straight away. My boss made a comment which she probably still regrets to this day…. “Don’t worry, he’s probably lying dead in a ditch somewhere!” What a strange thing to say, one of those strange throw away comments.

It was a five minute drive back home, when I drove down the lane to our house there were at least half a dozen police cars and several other vehicles parked by the track to the farmer’s field.

Very strange, indeed. Police officers standing around, they looked at me and I looked at them. I didn’t know any of them. Not traffic officers!

The kids and the dogs where in the house! They couldn’t see the police cars.

I went upstairs got the binoculars and looked out of the bedroom window. There was a hell of a lot of activity. As two o’clock approached I started to worry. He was on ‘lates’, two ten shift! Should be getting ready for work.

I am still amazed at what I did next!

I took the kids and walked past the police officers and the police cars and down the track!

There was a police officer on the the gate, I didn’t know him either! “Is my husband around? He is PC ……..  Is he involved in this situation? Only, he should be  starting work at two!”

Poor bloke, he told me that the best thing to do was to go back home. “I’m sure he’ll be along soon.”

So, away I went!
In those days you did what a police officer told you to do!

Back to the bedroom and the binoculars! I have no idea what the kids were doing or where the dogs where! I was pretty frantic!

Dread was filtering through every inch of my being!

Through the binoculars I could see police officers standing in little groups!

In one group I spotted a detective that I knew, wearing a black suit!

I watched for what seemed an eternity and when they moved out of sight I stood on a chair to get a better view.

Then, ‘Black-Suit’ started to walk towards the gate, he talked to the policeman there and looked up at the house!

Oh God!

‘Black-suit’ called to a police woman, and together they walked up the track!

Oh shit!

Not ‘the police woman’!

I ran downstairs put my back against the front door and just stood there waiting!

The last time ‘the police woman’ had come to my door, it was an RTA. Knocked off his police bike by an idiot turning right, across his path!

This didn’t look like an RTA to me!

I’d never really known fear, in my life. Unless, you count being the pillion passenger of a class one advanced police motorcyclist on a Moto Guzzi la Mans! I used to just shut my eyes and trust in his skill!

This fear was different, it was like a blackness that surrounded me!

I still, to my shame have no idea where the kids were at that moment!

I  just stood there and waited for ‘black-suit’ to knock on the door!

When he did, I couldn’t move and I couldn’t and wouldn’t open that door! Bad, bad things would happen if I opened it.

I’d known ‘Black-suit’ for many years, I’d lived next door to him for three! I’d seen him happy, I’d seen him sad and I’d seen him really poorly but I’d never seen him look like he did through my binoculars and his face was a strange shade of grey!

I was NOT going to open that door!

But, ‘Black-suit’ was shouting!

“Open the door, Lin!”

Well, he knew I was in there and I wasn’t a stranger to him!

He knew, that I knew!

Quietly, now…..

“Open the door, Lin……”

So, I opened the door and there he stood, with “the police woman”!


He never actually told me!


He never actually said the words!


He just walked into my house and looked at me with that face!


When we bought the farm it was semi-derelict. We loved it and it was a work in progress. I spent hours clearing the grass from between the cobbles!
When we bought the farm it was semi-derelict. We loved it and it was a work in progress. I spent hours clearing the grass from between the cobbles!


In 1987 I had been a policeman’s wife for 14 years.
Bobbies were either Policemen or Policewomen!
These were not consider to be derogatory terms and as far as I can remember political correctness had not yet been invented!
As a ‘policeman’s’ wife I knew that if he was not at home and his colleagues knocked on my door, one of them being a ‘policewoman’ then the news would not be good!


This is an article from our COPS magazine, the author is a great supporter of our charity. Last night I handed out a good many magazines at the Concert for Cops and I might have also handed one to you at the Emergency Services Show. The magazine and particularly this article gives you a huge insight into the work of Care of Police Suvivors, it shows you how your money is spent and it shows you the faces of the families behind the fallen officers.
It’s in the public domain if you can get hold of a copy, it makes for interesting reading.

imageYesterday I had the great honour and privilege to attend the 10th Anniversary Service of Remembrance for Care of Police Survivors (@UK_COPS) a charity which does all it can to help the families of those who have fallen in the line of duty. I first heard about COPS after the murders of PC’s Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone and since then I have heard some amazing stories of the work they do to support people. Having followed them for almost a year now I was aware of their many charity events, their social gatherings, the network they offered each other and the driving lessons they pay for as the children of fallen officers reach 17. Yesterday, the true impact of what they do struck me squarely between the eyes as I heard testimony from family members during the event. The service was not religious in any way. Instead it was poignant in a different way. There were no readings from scripture but what we heard was family members standing up, sharing their experiences and explaining how the charity had helped them through the difficult times. COPS’ motto is “rebuilding shattered lives” – there was evidence of this in abundance yesterday. Helen Walker spoke of the loss of her husband Mac and her 10 years with COPS. Andy Cooper spoke of his pride in his son PC Daniel Cooper. PC Paul Terry talked of the loss of his brother Ian and how the siblings are often the last people anyone thinks to comfort. All the speakers spoke passionately and movingly but it was when young Nathan Dent stood up to speak the work of COPS really hit home. Nathan had prepared a speechaboutthetragiclossofhisfatherand having bravely started it was understandably overcome by emotion. What happened next was enough to restore your faith in human nature. Nathan was hugged by COPS president Sue Brace and she finished off the speech. But they were Nathan’s words and he spoke of how he had been told of his father’s death. How lonely and empty he had been and how COPS had become somewhere he could share experiences with kids his own age who had been through the same thing. It was an incredible piece of writing which touched me and everyone else there very deeply. You could see the love in the room. The love between the families within the charity. What they mean to each other. Genuine, heartfelt love. Even for a hardened cynical cop it was a moment I will never forget. There it was personified – compassion. Rebuilding Shattered Lives? You bet they do! The importance of the work the charity does had been illustrated to all of us. Rebuilding shattered lives? You bet they do! It was pleasing to see so many senior ranking officers. I think all the forces including PSNI and Police Scotland were represented. It is absolutely right and proper that the Chiefs were there to honour the fallen and their families. they did a magnificent job. A credit to themselves, their trainers, their force and the whole police service. The future of the service was right there. Equally, there were numbers of Special Constables who had come to police and support the event. What was missing was the rank and file – in numbers. The point was made that not enough people know of the work of COPS and that is why I would like to make this public appeal. To ACPO – I would ask your members to publicise the work of this important charity who step in when the worst happens. Serving officers need to know much more about them and what they do. Please would you consider ways to promote and support them through the year? To the Staff Associations – Supers and Fed – are you able to do the same? Could the Fed send representatives from every force next year? This is a different event and a different concept from National Police Memorial Day. That in itself is a massively important show of love and remembrance, but COPS works intimately with the families of the fallen. We should support them as they do. To front line officers – next year, Chaos and myself have made it our mission to get 100 uniformed rank and file officers to form a Twitter supporters Guard of Honour. The date is the 20th July 2014. Staffordshire is about as central as you can get and it would mean so much to the families to see that those still serving have not forgotten them or their missing loved ones. This invitation extends to the public as well. It has been said many times recently that the police are the public and the public are the police – please come and show your support to the families next year. You will be most welcome. Bizarrely, despite the solemn nature of the event yesterday we had a lot of fun. That includes the families of those who have lost husbands, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters. There were many smiles amongst the tears and this helped illustrate just how together we can ALL help rebuild shattered lives. So many families spoke to me after to say how much it meant that serving colleagues had come. Please – join us – help us make next year bigger and better again. Let us show our family that they are still family. That they always will be and that they will never be forgotten.

Nathan Constable @nathanconstable