Fallen police officers from across the UK have been honoured at a service in Belfast.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris along with chief constables were among the dignitaries who attended the event at the Waterfront Hall for National Police Memorial Day.
No members of the Royal family were in attendance as they continue a period of mourning following the death of the Queen.
Almost 2,000 people, including family members of fallen officers, attended and stood to remember officers who gave their lives in service.
Ms Braverman, who gave a reading during the service, paid tribute.
“To all the officers who lost their lives while working to keep us safe, we thank you and we honour you,” she said.
“Their bravery and commitment to their duty was unfaltering – society owes them and their loved ones a debt we cannot repay, but it is one we will not forget.
“As Home Secretary I make a promise to give police the powers and tools they need to do their jobs safely.”
Today our National Chaplain will lead the @npmdUK service. We remember and give thanks for all our colleagues who have paid the ultimate price for our safety. This year’s service takes place in Belfast which makes it even more poignant. #NPMD22 pic.twitter.com/F9hRyvHf7c
— Police Chaplaincy UK (@polchaplainsuk) September 25, 2022
Mr Heaton-Harris said the Government “owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to the brave men and women of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and the Police Service of Northern Ireland for their tireless work to keep the people of Northern Ireland safe”.
“It was an honour and a privilege to attend today’s annual National Police Memorial Day service, hosted in Belfast, and to join relatives and colleagues of fallen officers, along with UK Government colleagues,” he said.
“It is right and proper that we remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in their duty of protecting the wider community.
“We thank them and service personnel from across the UK for their service and dedication.”
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) lit up their headquarters in blue on Saturday evening in memory of fallen colleagues.
PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne said it was a huge privilege for Belfast to host this year’s event.
“Today’s event was a humbling and moving experience in what has been an extraordinary few weeks following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” he said.
“It was an honour to have the opportunity to meet with many families from Northern Ireland and across the United Kingdom and to remember their loved ones who have paid the ultimate price in service of their communities.”
Tonight on the eve of National Police Memorial Day, our Headquarters is illuminated in blue, in memory of our fallen police officers.
We will never forget their sacrifice.
— Police Service NI (@PoliceServiceNI) September 24, 2022
During the service, prayers were said by family members, including Stephen Bromilow, father of PC John Edward Bromilow, 23, of the Lancashire Constabulary, who died on August 18 1979 in a road traffic collision while escorting a prisoner.
Candles were also lit by relatives in remembrance of officers throughout the UK who have lost their lives, one from each of the four nations of the United Kingdom.
Liam Kelly, chairman of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland read the names of officers who have lost their lives during the past year – PC Daniel Golding, Metropolitan Police; PC Craig Higgins, Greater Manchester Police; PC Alex Prentice, Northamptonshire Police; and PC Darryl Street, Civil Nuclear Constabulary.
There was silence as petals of remembrance, representing all who have lost their lives, descended from the gallery as the orchestra played Abide With Me and the Last Post was sounded.