- Father seeks medals for fallen officers.
- Campaign gains political support.
- Recognition for ultimate sacrifice.
The campaign to posthumously honor fallen emergency workers with the Elizabeth Cross medal is gaining traction, championed by Bryn Hughes, the father of a murdered police officer. PC Nicola Hughes, tragically killed in Greater Manchester in 2012, has spurred her father’s efforts to urge the government to enact legislation for this noble cause.
Both the Labour Party and the Welsh government have thrown their support behind Bryn Hughes’s initiative to bestow the Elizabeth Cross upon those who lose their lives in the line of duty. This move has garnered widespread approval.
The Home Office has expressed its determination to acknowledge the sacrifices made by officers. However, the concrete implementation of this proposal remains uncertain.
Bryn Hughes, who has tirelessly championed this campaign for years, recently secured the backing of Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford and Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper. Now, as a former prison officer hailing from Huddersfield, he is pushing for discussions with the Home Office and the government to outline the practical details of this endeavor.
In a statement, Mr. Hughes emphasized, “What we’re asking for now is for the government and the Home Office to take up the mantle and bring it to fruition. After receiving reassurance that this is a government priority for the year, I’ll request a meeting to discuss it.”
His daughter, PC Nicola Hughes, alongside fellow PC Fiona Bone, lost her life in a tragic gun and grenade ambush by fugitive Dale Cregan.
The officers had responded to a false burglary call in Tameside. Since that incident, eight officers have lost their lives due to homicides, as reported by The Police Remembrance Trust.
Mr. Hughes believes that emergency workers who perish in the line of duty deserve remembrance and honor. He has furthered his cause by undertaking marathon runs as part of his campaign and fundraising efforts.
As National Police Memorial Day approaches, he expressed, “I’ve consistently maintained that officers like Nicola and Fiona, as well as others we’ve tragically lost, are there to protect and serve the public. It’s only fitting that they receive recognition and honor when they lose their lives in such circumstances.”
A spokesperson for the Home Office remarked, “Every life sacrificed in the service of the public is a tragedy, and our thoughts are with the families of fallen officers and emergency service workers. The police also display extraordinary courage, and their dedication is acknowledged through the Police Covenant. We are unwavering in our commitment to ensure that their sacrifices are duly recognized. And the government has made it a priority to explore the avenues through which we can achieve this.”
Family members of military personnel who died in action since World War II or terrorist acts get the Elizabeth Cross, instituted in 2009.