An open letter to the public of the UK
Why am I choosing to write to you now? Well I am a police officer. I have served you for 26 years, 2 of those as a volunteer. I love my job, I enjoy going to work, and I am at my absolute happiest when I know I have helped one of you.
I have been with you when your baby has died. Nothing affected me more that carrying your baby into the white coffin in the ambulance. I wasn’t even a mum myself then.
I have sat with you and revisited you when a burglar came and pretended to be one of us, and made you feel safe again.
I have fought with you when you were drunk, or just angry. Generally, in the past, you would later apologise, but sadly no longer.
I have attended your house to resolve your domestic dispute over who owns the remote control. I was just 19 and you were in your forties!
I have attended to your partner when you battered her within an inch of her life, and ensured she never saw you again, even though she would not prosecute you. She has her life back.
I have picked up your 6 year old girl in my arms, lost and upset because you turned her out of her home after she repeated the sexual behaviour her Uncle had done to her, on her 3 year old brother. I cuddled her. I loved her, and everyone knows, I wish I had kept her. She became a prostitute due to lack of social care and money.
I have picked the pieces up from colleagues who have fallen apart after cutting your son down from the loft where he hung himself.
I have chased those kids who burgled your house, caught them and got the conviction in court to send them to prison.
I have talked your son down from the roof of the building, where he had threatened to throw himself off.
I have sat with you after you were raped by an alleged friend of yours, taken you to court in my own car, fought with the barristers supposedly on our side, and ensured he got sent down. You were so very brave.
I have sat with your very neglected children in the back of the car, while they wept for their mum who did not know how to look after them safely, but whom they still loved.
I supported a colleague who had been mown down deliberately by one of you, and subsequently had to leave the job as he lives in constant pain. He is one of the nicest people you could ever meet. His life is affected forever. The offender served 8 months.
This is not everything. I am not unique. There are thousands of us doing more than this every single day to protect you. Yes we make mistakes. Sometimes we get angry. We get tired and grumpy, and act unprofessionally. I pick up those pieces too, making sure we deal with that, and get those officers back on track.
I have no time for cops who are criminals.
But I am also a person. I am one of you. I am a wife and a mum of 2 young children. I do the school run. I do the shopping, the cooking and the cleaning. I hurt! I am affected by what you say. Last week it was a “whore”. That is the least of it. I am very affected by what I see.
This week yet another of my family has been murdered. The list is growing. But it never gets easier to lose one of our own in such a needless tragic way. Why would someone choose to run a fellow human being over rather than get a puncture in their stolen car? Why?
The current public outrage over these incidents, over the murder of Fiona, Nicola, Dave and all my colleagues is heartwarming. Nothing was harder to deal with than the public clapping at every police officer along Deansgate as we walked to Nicola’s funeral. I know you know you need us, I know you care about us as police officers, and as people.
My plea to you, is to remember those feelings. We are getting far fewer. We cannot do any more than we are doing. We are going to work every single day wishing there were more of us to look after more of you. We, as in every public service, have our limits. We cannot arrest every £10 shoplifter in a store which makes millions and still chooses to have no security, as we would not have time to look for your teenage daughter who has been indoctrinated into believing love is sexual abuse. We cannot investigate every criminal damage, as we would not have time to stop the domestic abuse which damages your minds far more than the physical abuse.
Everything is a priority. We know that. And yet we are still asked to prioritise. We try our best.
I am not feeling sorry for myself. I am happy to continue to look after you, to fight for you, to save you from further harm. But I want to be able to come home to my family. I want my colleagues to make it home to their family.
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT MORE NOW THAN EVER BEFORE.
Please stick with us. Remember your heartbreak at watching those 2 little girls deliver flowers and messages to their Daddy who will never come home. Remember the heartbreak of watching the parents of the murdered police officers, knowing they will never watch them get married or have grandchildren. There are thousands of them out there. Just remember them.