National Police Officers Roll of Honour and Remembrance
In Memory of British Police Officers who Lost their Lives in the Line of Duty
and explanatory notes
here to view the Criteria Summary)
for inclusion on the
POLICE OFFICERS ROLL OF HONOUR AND REMEMBRANCE
memory of British police officers who
lost their lives in the line of duty as a result
acts, misadventure or accident, enemy action, natural
causes and unknown causes.
The National Police Officers Roll of Honour and
Remembrance is an ongoing historical record of all British police officers,
including those in service with Colonial or UK administered Forces overseas, who lost their lives in the line of duty, since the earliest days of professional law enforcement
over three centuries ago.
Whilst the modern police service may rightly be
seen as emanating from Robert Peel’s Metropolitan Police in 1829, it did not
start there. The office of constable is an ancient one and for several centuries was a
duty carried out by ordinary citizens as locally appointed but unpaid Parish
Constables, gradually supplemented by various other peace officers.
The first professional law enforcement officers followed the English Civil War and
restoration of the Monarchy in the reign of Charles II (1660-85) with the
formation of a paid Night-Watch. The Watchmen or “Charlies” were often much maligned,
but many paid the ultimate price while carrying out their duties. The mid 18th
century saw the Bow Street Patrol (known as ‘Runners’) formed in London and in 1792 the first statutory
salaried Constables were attached by Act of Parliament to Police Offices
Following this Parliament began to
pass local Acts, notably the Glasgow Police Act of 1800, allowing local
authorities to begin employing full time constables. Sir Robert Peel actually began
his police reforms in Ireland, which joined the United Kingdom in 1801, with the formation of
the Peace Preservation Force in 1814 and the Irish County Constabulary in 1822. In 1829 his formation of the
Metropolitan Police saw the start of modern policing in England and Wales.
How many of the earlier peace
officers died in the execution of their duty is uncertain but the first recorded
death on duty, in the “Proceedings of the Old Bailey”, dates from 1680 with the
unlawful killing of a Constable whose name was not recorded – the unknown
constable. The Roll of Honour archive records details of each officer's name, age,
rank and force, date, place and circumstances of death, and any posthumous
honours or bravery awards; also recorded where available is their service
history, personal and family details and photographs of the officer and any memorials.
considering these criteria reference has been made to police pension
regulations, coroner's courts rules, and existing UK and
foreign police rolls of honour. Each case will normally require two independent
sources of information for verification, except in the case of official police records
where one source may suffice. Each case will be treated individually and on its
own merits and will not be accepted onto the Roll unless these criteria are
satisfied. However, while maintaining the overall principle that the death
should have occurred in the line of duty, the Roll aims to be inclusive rather
than exclusive. Where there is doubt about an officer's eligibility, for the
sake of the officer's family and force, the benefit of that doubt will generally
go towards their inclusion.
When considering names for inclusion on the Roll the following criteria will apply:
‘NATIONAL’ & ‘BRITISH’
Of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Northern Ireland, and the British Islands. Namely: -
The countries of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (Ireland prior to independence in 1922),
and the British Crown Dependencies of the Isle of Man and the Bailiwicks of Guernsey and
sworn constable or other member of a police force or
police authority or other peace officer engaged in a
law enforcement role. Namely:-
sworn constable i.e. a person holding the 'Office of
Constable' (regardless of rank), including a trainee or student constable undergoing training;
regular or auxiliary officer serving as a member of a police force or service (including the former Police Fire Brigades),
whether on a full or part-time, professional or voluntary basis;
officers whose injuries were received on or as a result
of their police service;
police staff members, e.g. explosives officers, community
support officers, traffic wardens, police cadets, etc., providing
they die in operational circumstances
(i.e. in the performance of a law enforcement role, including patrol duty
and training for operational duty);
Officers appointed by local authorities prior to the
formation of the modern police service in 1829, charged
with enforcing the law e.g. Parish Constables, Watchmen,
Bow Street Patrol.
HONOUR AND REMEMBRANCE’
The Roll comprises two
A. Roll of Honour - officers killed, or who died of injuries received, in the execution
of their duties; and
B. In Remembrance - those who have otherwise died, on or in connection with their
'BRITISH POLICE OFFICERS'
Police officers serving in the
current and former police forces of: -
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and
including officers of UK police forces temporarily seconded
prior to the independence of Southern Ireland from the
UK in June 1922; and
- British Citizens
serving overseas as police officers in the former Colonial Police Services; namely: - Police Forces of the former British
Empire, comprising the dominions, colonies, protectorates,
mandates, and other overseas territories, whilst ruled or administered by the United
LOST THEIR LIVES'
Killed or died
as a direct or proximate result of personal injuries
received, including duty related
illness or disease, which caused or substantially contributed
to the death.
from an illness or disease may be deemed to be the result
of an injury on duty if arising from:
act of violence (e.g. heart failure or brain haemorrhage
during an assault or violent arrest);
physical cause (e.g. heart failure from exertion of
chasing suspects or dealing with public order);
in the course of duty or resulting from the performance of police
THE LINE OF DUTY'
connection with Police Duty: - i.e.
whilst on duty, in the execution of duty, or as
a result of duty, or otherwise in
connection with duty, both of an operational
or non-operational nature.
Police Duty - The primary duties of police officers are the:
- Protection of life and property
- Preservation of public order (The Queen's Peace)
- Prevention and detection of criminal offences.
During a tour of duty and comprising all normal lawful actions carried out as part of a police officer's duty, whether the duty is of an operational or non-operational nature.
In the Execution of Duty
As a direct result of their performance of operational duties, including while off duty: -
an officer, or former officer, is unlawfully killed in consequence of their
current or former occupation or status as a police officer; e.g. in a
revenge or terrorist attack.
- Circumstances where an off duty officer may be expected, or obliged by law, police
regulations or common practice, or of their own initiative, to place themselves
on, and act in the performance of, duty.
Circumstances of a death ‘in the
execution of duty’ should be directly related to police duty and not incidental
to them - had they not been a police officer would they have died when and in
the manner they did?
a Result of Duty may include:
occurring some time after the event from the effects
of an injury or illness sustained on duty;
off duty but on account of being a police officer (e.g.
a revenge or terrorist attack);
injury received after retirement but on account of previous
status as a police officer;
(2 & 3 - Injury
would not have been received had they not been known
to have been a police officer).
Otherwise in Connection with Duty
occurring otherwise than in the Execution of Duty, namely: -
injuries received on non-operational duty; or
to or from duty, outside of a tour of duty, for which no payment is made.
sudden death or natural causes on duty, not attributable to the execution of
enemy action while off duty or where duty status is unknown.
- Whilst on a temporary residential training course or operation
or secondment out of the force area.
serving in UK administered forces overseas, including when off duty or duty status is
- Actions undertaken by choice not subject to an obligation of duty e.g. sports or fitness
- From unknown or other causes on duty where the full circumstances are unknown.
In the performance of an operational law enforcement role, i.e. police
duty which brings an officer into contact with the general public or suspects, or
the investigation of suspicious circumstances or other circumstances of a
hazardous nature, including patrol duty and physical training for an
operational role. The role being defined by the actual duty performed at the
time rather than the officer’s usual role.
Non Operational Duty
duties such as administration, clerical or similar duties carried out on police
or other premises, which does not entail contact with the public or suspects, or
other hazardous circumstances.
2. Travelling to or from duty, outside
of a tour of duty, for which no payment is made.
Exclusions - In the line of duty does not include:
resulting from an officer's own serious and culpable
gross negligence or misconduct.
- where an inquest found that a person took their own life will not be included
Where death is a direct result of and substantially
contributed to by an injury on duty; e.g. where the death was caused by
insanity or other mental illness or severe depression resulting from the
effects of an injury on duty. Where such cases are included they may be
classified in relation to the original injury.
maintaining the overall principle that death should
have occurred in the line of duty, the Roll aims to
be inclusive rather than exclusive. When there is doubt
about an officer's
eligibility, the benefit of the doubt will generally
go towards inclusion.
assist in the analysis of fatalities, and for the purposes of police forces and
organisations in the compiling of specific Rolls with differing criteria, the Causes
of Death may be Classified, as follows.
ACTS: Injury attributable to criminal acts of violence;
Accidental injury attributable to intended acts in the
performance of operational duty;
Accidental injury attributable to unforeseen and unintended
acts or circumstances;
ACTION: Injury in consequence of wartime enemy air raids and attacks;
CAUSES: Collapse, illness or disease attributable to
the performance of operational duty;
CAUSES: The exact cause, circumstances and/or duty status
Accidental injury sustained while travelling to or from
DEATH: Death on duty from natural causes where there
is no known contributory cause.
ON SECONDMENT OR SERVICE OVERSEAS: Death from any means not falling within other criteria.
are detailed within the two main sections of the Roll of Honour and Remembrance:
A. ROLL OF HONOUR
Honouring police officers who have
been killed, or died as a result of injuries received, in consequence of the execution
of their duties, namely:
a direct result of the performance of operational duty, or
consequence of their occupation or status as a police officer.
The Roll of Honour pays special tribute to those killed in the course of operational duties or due to their status as police officers e.g. through terrorist attacks.
CRIMINAL ACTS: Injury attributable to criminal acts of
Unlawful Killing - Homicide offences i.e. murder/manslaughter/culpable
reported as criminal offences of homicide, where there
was a charge or inquest verdict of unlawful killing,
i.e. Murder or Manslaughter (Culpable Homicide in Scotland).
Including where suspects were acquitted or not proceeded
against due to insufficient evidence to substantiate
their involvement in a homicide offence.
Political Violence - Homicide offences resulting from
insurrection or terrorist activity. e.g.:-
Irish War of Independence 1919-1922.
and Loyalist terrorist activity in Northern Ireland.
terrorist activity in Great Britain.
and terrorism in former UK administered territories overseas.
Act of Violence - Homicide not amounting at the time
to unlawful killing.
Death attributable to an assault
or other act of violence, not amounting at the time
to unlawful killing e.g.:-
death occurred over a year and a day after the fatal
injury was inflicted (prior to 1996);
the cause of death was the result of an injury attributable
to a crime of violence, or such an injury contributed
to the cause of death, but a homicide offence
was not substantiated due to insufficient evidence as
to the exact cause of death or the criminal intent of
a suspect was charged with a homicide offence but no
evidence was offered and charges withdrawn or they were
acquitted on the grounds of accident or self defence, or other grounds, where there was insufficient evidence to substantiate a homicide offence.
Dangerous Driving - When struck by a vehicle which deliberately
fails to stop for police.
of causing death by dangerous or reckless driving or
driving while unfit through drink or drugs, where an
officer, either on foot or in a police vehicle, is attempting
stop the offending vehicle, the driver of which deliberately
fails to stop and the officer or his vehicle is struck
by the offending vehicle.
all above criminal acts, the result of any legal/criminal
proceedings will be recorded and may be published but
names and personal details of suspects and offenders
generally be included.)
MISADVENTURE: - Accidental injury attributable to intended
acts in the performance of an operational duty -
Duty - In the performance of hazardous duty or acts of gallantry where there
is a known special risk of danger: -
In the Course of Effecting an Arrest
injury was received in the course of duties performed
for the immediate purpose of effecting an arrest or
of preventing an escape or rescue from legal custody
while arresting or chasing suspects on or across rooftops
or other high structures.
by a vehicle/train arresting or chasing suspects by
foot on or across a road or railway line.
arresting or chasing suspects in or across rivers or
other deep water.
In the Performance of Acts of Gallantry
The injury was received in the course of duties performed
for the immediate purpose of saving the life of another
person or of preventing loss of life in hazardous circumstances;
rescues from fires or drowning.
members of the public from runaway horses or vehicles.
a Sovereign's decoration for bravery has been bestowed.
any other award for bravery has been granted by a recognised
courageous conduct or equivalent acts.
Other Hazardous Duty
injury was otherwise received in the course of duties
performed in such circumstances of danger as involved
the officer in taking an exceptional risk, including
by their nature are inherently dangerous and where risk
is enhanced by a dangerous location or adverse
weather conditions. e.g.
for suspects on rooftops, railways and other dangerous
search and rescue.
suspicious or speeding vehicles on foot.
blocks and vehicle check points.
with, or protecting the scene of, accidents or breakdowns
on motorways or dangerous roads.
where an officer is acting in the protection of persons
or property beyond a normal obligation of duty, despite
a known risk to the officer's own personal safety.
(The above may be
appropriate to pay special tribute to officers killed unlawfully or in the
course of acts of gallantry, effecting arrests or other dangerous duties, on a
Roll of Honour or inscribed memorial. It generally equates to the conditions in
Police Pension Regulations relating to granting of a Widow’s Augmented Award. It is similar to that used by the Metropolitan Police for their Roll of Honour
at New Scotland Yard, and in 2005 was adopted by the Police Memorial Trust for
the Roll of Honour at the National Police Memorial in London.)
Operational Duty - In the performance of
other duties of a hazardous nature;
risk is enhanced at the time by a dangerous location
weather conditions; e.g.
to emergency calls.
of suspicious circumstances or premises.
Helicopter, or other patrol in hazardous conditions.
ACCIDENT: Accidental injury attributable to unforeseen and unintended acts or circumstances sustained in the course of Operational Duty; e.g.
traffic accidents on mobile patrol.
- Road accidents or falls while on foot patrol.
Driving - due to road traffic collisions (not officer's
actions) while on routine patrol.
accidents on operational duty.
operational training and compulsory physical training
(which may include police related First Aid or Lifesaving
activities but not voluntary sports or social activities,
band practice etc.).
ENEMY ACTION: Injury in consequence of wartime enemy air
raids and attacks while on duty.
resulting from injury on duty or in the execution of
duty from enemy action during or following enemy air
raids, resulting from enemy attacks, bombing or its
(Deaths performing dangerous duties, fighting fires, rescue's etc may be classified as Misadventure).
NATURAL CAUSES - Duty Related: Collapse, illness or disease attributable
to the execution of an operational duty.
death of natural causes and deaths from illness or
disease where performance of operational
duty may have contributed to the death; e.g. a collapse
or heart attack brought on by physical exertion through:
arrest of suspect or prevention of offence.
protection of life or property.
- The preservation of public order.
from illness or disease directly relating to an act
of violence, misadventure or accident on operational
duty and in close proximity to it may be shown under
UNKNOWN CAUSES: Death on operational duty but exact cause
or circumstances are unknown.
the evidence does not fully disclose how the cause of
death arose; i.e. the death was officially recorded as
an accident on operational duty, or is suspected as
to a criminal act of violence, e.g. an officer found
drowned or fatally injured in suspicious circumstances,
but the exact cause or circumstances are unknown, or
inquest results in an 'open' verdict being returned.
(All above may be
appropriate for officers killed in the execution of operational duty where
names are to be carved on a physical memorial. This is the original criteria
for the National Police Officers Roll of Honour and similar to those used for
many UK police service Rolls of Honour and national memorials.)
B. IN REMEMBRANCE
Remembering police officers who
have otherwise died,
or in connection with duty, other than in the execution of an operational duty, or
serving overseas, when off duty or duty status is unknown.
Through Remembrance we also commemorate
those officers who have otherwise died on or in connection with their
duty in other ways:
7. ACCIDENT – Not Operational:
Accidental injury sustained on non-operational duty.
This will include accidents, by any means, which are not
directly related to the performance of operational duties; such as injury whilst
on duty in police stations or other premises, e.g. a fall down stairs in a police
station; or actions undertaken by choice not subject to an obligation of duty
e.g. sports or fitness activities.
TRAVELLING: Accidental injury sustained while travelling
to and from duty.
1921, police pension regulations have equated being on a journey necessary to
enable an officer to report for duty or to return home after duty with being on
duty. For much of the 19th and 20th century, officers
were obliged to live within their force area and wear full uniform when
travelling to and from duty and were visibly available to assist the public as
police officers. While modern practices and transport usually mean travelling
officers are less visible, up to 2010 regulations have retained the ‘on duty’
status while travelling. The journey should be direct, immediately before or
after duty to qualify under this class. Officers
on a split tour of duty, or recalled to duty for a special purpose, are
effectively on duty as soon as they leave home during their tour or when called
out and such cases may be classed as actually on duty rather than travelling;
e.g. turning out to an incident, or reporting for duty during an enemy air
ENEMY ACTION - Off Duty: Injury in consequence of enemy air raids or attacks while
off duty or duty status unknown.
sources for deaths by enemy action include Force War Rolls and the Commonwealth
War Graves Commission Civilian War Dead Roll. The latter includes occupations
of those involved in Civil Defence work but does not indicate whether they were
on or off duty at the time of their deaths, and it has not been possible to
ascertain the duty status of many officers killed in wartime. During
enemy air raids it was common, if not required, for off duty police officers to
report for duty or to assist locally with Civil Defence work, thereby placing
themselves on duty, and those identified as such are contained in the Roll of
Honour section. It is known that a number of police officers lost their lives
in such circumstances but impossible to know how many; for this reason all
officers who are known to have been off duty or who have not been identified as
on duty may be listed, as an unknown number may have also died in such
NATURAL CAUSES - Sudden Death: Collapse, illness, death on duty of natural causes where
there is no known contributory cause.
Sudden death occurring on duty or
where the officer is immediately hospitalised following onset of
sudden illness or collapse on duty and fails to recover, remaining under
medical care until their subsequent death.
UNKNOWN CAUSES - Non Operational: On duty but exact cause,
circumstances and duty status are unknown.
the evidence does not fully disclose how the cause of
death arose i.e. the death was officially recorded as
on duty, but the exact cause, circumstances or duty
status are unknown.
12. ON SECONDMENT OR SERVICE OVERSEAS: Cause of death not falling within other criteria.
Officers temporarily engaged on duties away from their
usual place of work and obliged to reside away from home, including residential
training courses or secondments out of the force area, and those serving with UK
administered police forces overseas, who do not come within other criteria, may
be treated as being otherwise in connection with duty during the entire period
of secondment or service.
Deaths by any means will be considered, including unknown
causes, natural causes, or while off duty or where duty status is unknown. This
is particularly relevant to those officers who died serving overseas and were
buried in the country of service.
may be appropriate for a fully inclusive Roll or Book of Remembrance in memory
of all who have lost their lives by any means in connection with their duties. All
are used for the National Police Officers Roll of Honour and
Remembrance. This criteria was adopted by the National Police
Memorial Day Trust in 2004.)
COLONIAL AND OVERSEAS TERRITORIES POLICE
British police officers, who
died while serving abroad in current and former British Administered Colonies,
Protectorates, Mandated Territories, and other British Overseas Territories, will be included on the National Roll as and when
information on these casualties is discovered or brought to our attention.
Those remembered will include all United Kingdom police officers
but may not include other nationalities whom it is hoped will be remembered in
their own native country.
This will include, among others, police forces in the following areas
whilst under British Administration:
Cyprus, Hong Kong,
in service but not confirmed as being in the line of
duty - such cases are recorded pending further information.
circumstances where an officer died of unnatural causes
while serving and death may have occurred in the line
of duty but the facts are unconfirmed. This may be due
date of death or name of the deceased being unknown,
or lack of corroboration of a reported death, or it
is not known if it occurred on or as a result of duty.
While not included
on the Roll details will be recorded pending more information
and subject where possible to further research.
of suicide where an inquest found that a person took
their own life will not be included except:-
the death is a direct result of and substantially contributed
to by an injury on duty; e.g.
the death was caused by insanity or other mental illness
or severe depression resulting from the effects of an
injury on duty. Where such cases are included they may
classified in relation to the original injury.
of deaths on wartime military service will be collated,
if received, but at this time do not form part of the
National Police Officers Roll of Honour. Generally details
already accessible on military memorials and Rolls of
here to view the Criteria Summary)