When he laid out his nine principles of Modern Policing in 1829 Sir Robert Peel said this:

“The police are the public and the public are the police’ – police officers are drawn from the community and we exercise our powers on their behalf – we police by our community’s consent.”

Constable 6554 Dave Phillips came to the police from the community of the Wirral – a local boy who joined his local force, Merseyside Police, to serve his local community.

Dave did this with dedication, with humility and with great courage.

In serving his community Dave paid the ultimate sacrifice.  The public, not just of the Wirral and of Merseyside, but the whole of the country, has been outraged by his loss and the pain caused to his family, his friends and his colleagues.

The public has shared our grief.

It has not been easy to decide how best to address you  – inspiration came from some very simple words spoken by a police officer at last week’s National Bravery Awards – he had saved a member of the public from drowning.

And he said this:

“The important thing is, at the end of the watch everybody came home.”

On that terrible night Dave showed dedication to duty, he did everything in his power to keep the public safe, he acted in the finest traditions of the police service.   He too was brave.

But Dave didn’t come home …. and the police service of the United Kingdom and beyond is here today to honour him.

To honour him, and to show his wife Jen, his daughters Abigail and Sophie, his mum, his dad, sisters and wider family what he meant to us.

Whilst Dave didn’t come home…… by any standards he has left his mark.  He has left a trace of what he was on all of us.


I can’t think of a more fitting tribute.

These are the words of his colleagues.  When things got difficult, Dave was the ‘go to’ person.

Dave Phillips epitomised what the public want their police to be – caring, compassionate and resolute.  That is why there has been such overwhelming love and support for his family.

Dave Phillips epitomised everything that we aspire to be – ‘a professional force with the human touch’.  It is not so much what we do as police officers, it is how we do it …. and Dave Phillips did it well.

Dave has reminded us all of who we are, what we are, what we stand for and what we mean to each other.

Constable 6554 Dave Phillips was a man who we are all proud to say was one of us.

And he was one of our finest.


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