This video has been sent to me today by PC James Griffiths of West Mercia Police
It also incudes the words from PC Amie Holland’s much publicised poem
Try and watch it without the tears streaming down your face ….
24th September 2012
For all those who have offered their time and support to GMP: Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan, said:
“First of all I want to say a heartfelt thank you for everyone’s kind offer of support to GMP.
“People and organisations from every walk of life have contacted us to pledge their support and to give up their time.
“Today, ACPO will be releasing a note to all Forces to explain that we will be grateful to take up all genuine offers of assistance, but they will of course need some time to organise the logistics of this.
“However these kind offers haven’t just come from within the police family.
We have had volunteers from numerous different organisations offering to help out. We will find a way to work with any members of the public and any organisations who want to show their solidarity.
“We will work with other forces to arrange the support from within the police service, but, just as importantly we promise to come back to everybody, no matter where they are, as soon as we can. We will do our utmost to ensure that everyone who has offered their help will be able to do so.
“Once again, thank you for your support – it really makes a difference.”
The last few days have, it’s fair to say, been a blur; sleep has become a distant memory. Like every decent person around the country, police officer, staff, family, friend or not, I felt physically sick when the news started coming out about the horrendous murders of PC’s Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes in Manchester on September 18th.
After writing my post on the matter, It Tomorrow Never Comes, and whilst watching one of the BBC News Channel live feeds from the scene I received a tweet from @ResponseSgt wondering if a small number of officers could be rallied to #CoverForGMP so their own teams could attend the funerals of the officers concerned. Shortly afterwards I had a similar tweet from @TheCustodySgt (or it may have been the other way round).
After a couple of minutes thinking about it, I reckoned that shouldn’t be too difficult, even to get 40 or 50 bobbies from GMP or one of the neighbouring forces to step in and help their colleagues and so I tweeted the message
Calling all cars …. Would you work a day in GMP so their officers can attend funerals for Fiona and Nicola ?
I then went off to mow the lawn, with the thought of ‘how would that work’ milling over in the back of my mind whilst I cut the grass.
Not very long after at all, Mrs C, who as it happened wasn’t working that day either, came out into the garden saying “Chaos, what’s wrong with your phone it won’t stop beeping”. As soon as I looked at the screen and saw the sheer number of notifications and emails outstanding, I knew something big was happening !
Within a very short space of time, my initial guestimate of that 40-50 officers to help had been blown well out of the water. Within hours, over 1,500 police officers, staff and members of the public had offered to get to Manchester and do whatever was asked of them, for free !!, in order that the officers, staff and people of Manchester could pay their respects at the funerals of their fallen colleagues.
A couple of days later and there are now well over 5,000 people who have said YES to #CoverForGMP ! – yes, that’s right, OVER 5,000 !!
And that’s on my Facebook and Twitter alone. Many, many more have already contacted GMP and their own forces to offer help.
These are people from all over the country; yes many are police officers and staff who directly feel the pain that Fiona and Nicola’s colleagues, families and friends are going through – but many are not. They are everyday folk who are also so overwhelmingly shocked and affected by what has happened that they also feel the need to do something, anything, to help out. For that, and for every kind word received by me, by GMP, and all the other police forces round the country I can only say a big, big thank you yet again.
On top of that, Virgin Trains and National Express have also indicated their wish to assist us moving people around and have been put in direct contact with the Senior Officers Teams at Greater Manchester Police.
Highways Agency staff are queuing up to volunteer to work on the day to keep the expected boom on vehicle numbers flowing as freely as possible.
There are hundreds and hundreds of messages of support of people offering to just turn up and make tea for everyone (never going to say no to that) and others the other end of the country wanting to make sandwiches, bake cakes, get up in the middle of the night and drive hundreds of miles to help keep everyone fed !
With all the police-bashing that has gone on lately from all sides, just ask yourself this: Where else would you get literally thousands of people, offering to work FOR FREE; at very short notice; on a day off, or even book annual leave, to do someone else’s job; to drive possibly hundreds of miles into the bargain; to cook and clean; to answer phones; to walk the streets; to deal with some of the worst that life can throw at us ?? – has this one tragic event alone, shown everyone that the United Kingdom still has the best police service in the world, and that the vast majority of the British public actually do believe in and support their police officers.
More importantly, will it be that if one positive thing can come out of the horrendous events of September 18th, will it be that the police and the public will begin to re-engage in a big way ??
Let’s also remember, this hasn’t been started by some kind of Mutual Aid request from GMP or any other force – it’s not a plan that’s been put together by any Chief Officer – it’s not really a ‘plan’ at all !! – this has purely been driven by, dare I say it, ‘frontline’ police officers, so shocked and numbed about what has happened that they felt the need to channel their emotions, very quickly, into something as positive as possible. I think we have achieved that.
As expected, there have been a few negative comments thrown my way about this whole idea, which I don’t think I worth giving penance to, but to the couple of people that have suggested I’m only doing this to try and get a promotion; Really ?? think about it – NO, not a chance !! and anyway I’m anonymous and intend to stay that way – I’m doing this because I’m in a position where I can, it’s as simple as that !
There is a heck of a lot of planning going on behind the scenes at Greater Manchester Police already, and any final decision on how they can best make use of the offers on the table has to be a logistical decision for them. I know that the Senior Officers are doing everything they can to make #CoverForGMP happen but of course, the wishes of the families affected will be paramount.
All updates will be announced immediately by GMP who will be in charge of any operation, the GMP Federation, Police Federation nationally, and will be cascaded via myself and also directly to all other UK police forces so please keep following on Twitter and/or Facebook for quickest updates. On Twitter make sure you are following:
@ConstableChaos – @MikePannett – @InspGadgetBlogs – @GMPolice – @GMPFederation
If possible, please do not call the number being re-posted on Facebook/Twitter for Greater Manchester Police. This is a General Enquiry Helpdesk number. The staff in there are being fantastic and they are recorded peoples info onto a database in readiness, but the number IS getting swamped and our calls may delay genuine requests for service from GMP getting through.
If you would like to add your support / comments, please do so here –> Calling All Cars … Would You #CoverForGMP – everything will be made available to GMP as required.
The most likely scenario is that each Police Force outside of GMP will be asked to collate and coordinate their own staff / officers. If you are GMP please speak with your Line Managers / Duties Teams. I’m not sure yet exactly what the plan is for members of the public offering help but this will be announced in due course as well.
The suggestion I have put forward to Senior people involved, based on feedback I’ve had, is that a number of officers working on a ‘mutual aid’ type basis could cover mobile patrols in the main areas, freeing up GMP officers, whilst the rest line the routes, in uniform. I must stress this is not a confirmed plan and is remember, subject to the families approval.
Once again, THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP, SUPPORT AND KIND WORDS.
One final note …. I was originally going to call this post ‘It Started With A Tweet’
“Eternal” a tribute to PC Fiona Bone and PC Nicola Hughes
I didn’t know them but I have been where they were. Running to a job in progress without thinking too much about what I was actually running toward.
I didn’t know them but I have done what they were doing. I joined for the same reasons. I had that Calling – the burning passion to help and make a difference.
I didn’t know them but I was once in their shoes being sent to the scene of some incident or other with the full intention of doing good when I got there.
I didn’t know them but I have left my family and loved ones at all hours of the day and night, accepting the dangers i might face but with the full expectation of returning home at the end of a shift.
I didn’t know them but I worked with people like them. I have seen their faces around every briefing room, in every station I have ever worked in. I have had the pleasure of working alongside them and supervising them and helping them achieve their goals.
I didn’t know them but I have had to deliver that painful message that a loved one isn’t ever coming home again.
I didn’t know them but I know the helplessness of desperately trying to save a life when you know all hope is gone.
I didn’t know them but they were my colleagues, my friends, my family.
I didn’t know Fiona or Nicola. But although I didn’t know them – I actually knew them very well indeed.
We weren’t in the same force but we were part of the same service.
That service, that family is now stricken at the loss of two sisters who were known and adored my many…
but who will be recognised, loved and mourned by thousands.
They have been taken from us cruelly and far too early.
I didn’t know them but my sorrow will last a lifetime.
My thanks for what they were doing for us all will be everlasting.
My pride in them….
I am currently a serving GMP Police Constable working on the Bolton Division. I did not know the girls personally, but a loss of two of our own is felt across the force. Therefore I wanted to do something to honour their memory. I have written this poem and I dedicate it to my two incredibly brave colleagues. I want to share this poem with as many people as possible and it has already received almost 1,000 likes and over 100 comments on Facebook in just 24 hours. I am speechless at the response my poem has received and have been truly humbled by some of the comments I have received. I dedicate it to the G Division’s two brave officers. Rest in peace girls xx
The alarm clock goes off, it’s early in the morn,
I rub my eyes as I let out a yawn.
As I dress my mind wonders of the day that lies ahead,
As I count the hours until I can return to my bed.
Another working day as I creep from my house,
Leaving loved ones to sleep, I’m as quiet as a mouse.
My car pulls from the drive, the radio blurs into life,
What will the day bring, what troubles, what strife?
There it is, my nick, I see it, I care,
As I pass by the badge I so proudly wear.
Vest on, belt on, to the parade room I go,
To my colleagues and friends, banter in full flow.
We’re briefed up and ready for the challenges of the day,
To serve and protect in every sigle way.
In our panda we patrol listening so carefully,
To the radio on which a call soon will there be.
And it comes, it’s inevitable, a job there for us,
A call for help, for the help of ‘the fuzz.’
“On route” I say as we continue to chat,
Most likely about refs or of this and of that.
All so quickly we arrive, to the house we draw near,
Then I see him, it’s him, I cannot move with fear.
The most wanted man standing here in front of me,
Then I see it, there’s a bang, all is still, this cannot be.
It’s dark, I’m alone, “What happened?” I say,
Why did this become that dreaded day?
I have a family, a life stretching out before me,
Though most just don’t see it, she’s just another PC.
Yes I have seen and done things that most of you fear,
For the job and the badge that I hold oh so dear.
But I’m not just a uniform, I’m a person too,
Yes I may be a bobby, but I’m someone’s daughter like you.
But today I have made the ultimate sacrifice,
With my life I have paid the largest price.
With pride and integrity, I did serve and protect,
Though at times it was hard and we were shown no respect.
But it was our job, off we went, so professional and formal,
Not knowing this day would be anything but normal.
I have no regrets, the service I willingly gave,
Day in and day out, I never saw it as brave.
And now I move on, new friends most I meet,
As I walk my shift on heaven’s beat.
But please don’t forget me, on parade I once sat,
Just a girl who happened to wear a bobby’s hat.
By PC Amie Holland, Bolton Division, Greater Manchester Police