Call for better recognition for injured police
An ex Amble resident has begun a campaign calling for better recognition for the ‘harrowingly sad’ situation of police officers who are injured and then medically discharged, or for those killed in the line of duty.
Retired police officer Tom Curry is calling for a new service medal to be bestowed on officers who have been injured during their work then medically discharged. At the moment only those deemed to have been injured or killed while discharging their duties ‘heroically’ can receive a medal.
Describing the lack of a medal award ‘a scandalous national disgrace’, Tom has started a petition, which has gained the support of several MPs and the Sussex Police force. His story has gathered interest all around the country.
He is also supporting a second campaign by relatives of police who have died to receive a posthumous medal award. He hopes both these campaigns will be raised and acted upon by the government.
Their deeds are not recognised
Tom said “I find it totally astounding that in the 21st century when police officers are called upon more and more frequently to protect us and then either pay the ultimate penalty and lose their lives or sacrifice their health, that their deeds are not recognised with a medal award, be it for the family or for themselves.
“Many of the severely injured are known to me personally and some are in wheelchairs requiring the services of assistance dogs or having sustained severe brain damage. Their plight is harrowingly sad.
“My medal proposal is not for heroism, albeit all display a degree of that but simply to recognise that the recipient served in the police and was discharged from the service on medical grounds having been injured on duty. This new award would substitute for the ‘Long Service and Good Conduct’ medal they richly deserved but were deprived of through no fault of their own.”
If you would like to support Tom in his campaign, you can sign his petition here:
PC David Rathband
Tom said ‘only very few’ officers have ever been awarded the George Cross – the civilian equivalent of the armed forces Victoria Cross.
“This is due to the strict criteria being that it must involve a high and extreme act of bravery,” he said.
“Most officers do not get the opportunity to display that being either instantly shot or stabbed and outside of that no other medal award is simply available.
“Many will recall the harrowing and callous gunning down of the two Manchester Police officers, Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes in 2012. Both lost their lives but received no medal recognition.
“Northumbrian PC David Rathband in 2010 was sprung upon and blasted with a shotgun at point-blank range and blinded. He received nothing.
“Lanarkshire detective Ross Hunt stabbed to death in 1983, after an extended 32 years of service received nothing.
“The list is endless and this scandalous national disgrace in being overlooked is something that is long overdue in being corrected.”
Sunday 24 September is Police Memorial Day
Tom Curry grew up in Amble in the 1950s and 60s, before leaving to become a police officer in Sussex. He recently wrote his memoir: Our Tomis the Polis