The Prince of Wales has recorded a video message to mark National Police Memorial Day. In the video, Prince Charles spoke of the bravery of officers across the country and paid tribute to those who have lost their lives in the line of duty, including Sergeant Matiu Ratana who was shot at Croydon police station two days ago. The Prince of Wales said:
”This year, as a nation, we have been challenged in ways we could never have anticipated. We have faced an unseen but deadly threat amid disrupted and ever-changing circumstances. However, throughout all the uncertainty, we have learned, as never before to value those things of which we can always be certain, such as the steadfast dedication and duty of our Police Forces throughout the United Kingdom.
“Our officers have met this invisible threat with visible courage and commitment, providing the calm reassurance that has been so essential to our communities day and night. That such extraordinary commitment should so often be taken for granted is a measure of how we have come to expect nothing less than the highest standards from our officers, and shows why our police forces have earned the admiration of the world.
“While, sadly, we cannot gather together in the usual manner to mark this special day of Remembrance, we can all take a moment to honour those who have paid the ultimate price and who have given their lives in the service of others.
“I particularly wish to remember those officers who have so tragically lost their lives since we met in Glasgow last year. The dreadful incident in Croydon on Friday is the latest heartbreaking evidence of the risks faced by our officers daily.
“I would like to send my deepest sympathy to the families of each of these officers who have given their lives. These are losses we can never replace, sacrifices we can never repay, but of which, as a society, we can only strive to be worthy. We owe our police service and its remarkable officers the most profound debt of gratitude for their continued, selfless commitment and dedication to the protection of our communities.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I hope that this day provides at least some comfort to those who have lost their loved ones and that it provides reassurance that their example will leave an legacy of inspiration. I can only say to all the families, friends, and colleagues of fallen officers, and to every serving officer throughout the United Kingdom, that you and your loved ones will always have a very special place in the heart of our nation.”