Police officers and staff who lost their lives in the line of duty are to be honoured in a permanent memorial which is to be unveiled at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire tomorrow.
The special ceremony of dedication will be attended by senior politicians, civic dignitaries, representatives from all police forces across the country, policing charities and the families and friends of fallen officers.
South Wales Police Federation chair Steve Treharne said: “We welcome the fact that this memorial, so long in the planning, is now being unveiled. It will serve as a fitting tribute to the sacrifice of all those who have paid the ultimate price in serving and protecting their communities.
“Members of the police service put their lives on the line each and every day in the line of duty. We should never our fallen colleagues and this memorial will be a very public sign of that.”
The UK Police Memorial chair of trustees Sir Hugh Orde said: “After seven years of fund-raising and 12 months of construction, we can finally dedicate this beautiful and iconic memorial that pays tribute to the courage and sacrifice of all those police officers and staff who have paid the ultimate price.
“The 12-metre-tall brass memorial, with its leaf-shaped apertures representing courage, sacrifice and lives lost, is set within a beautifully landscaped area, and has been designed for ceremony, tribute and personal acts of reflection.
“As a nation, we owe all those who have laid down their lives to keep us safe and protect us from harm a huge debt of gratitude. This memorial will ensure that the memory of those officers and staff who have died lives on in perpetuity.”
He added: “This is a place that will not only honour the courage and sacrifice of the men and women from our police service, but it will become a fitting tribute to honour all those who continue to serve.”
The National Memorial Arboretum is the nation’s place of year-round remembrance. It is home to almost 400 memorials, including the National Armed Forces Memorial, and attracts more than 300,000 visitors per year.
Members of the public can watch Wednesday’s event live online through the memorial website www.ukpolicememorial.org.