Monday 10 April 2017

PC Keith Palmer: Funeral for officer killed in London attacks

The hearse leaving the Houses of ParliamentImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionPC Keith Palmer was protecting the Houses of Parliament when he died
The funeral of PC Keith Palmer, who was killed in last month's Westminster attack, is taking place at Southwark Cathedral in central London.
Thousands of police officers lined the route of a 2.6-mile funeral cortege starting at the Palace of Westminster.
PC Palmer, 48, who was married with a five-year-old daughter, was guarding the Houses of Parliament on 22 March when he was stabbed by Khalid Masood.
A floral tribute left on top of his hearse read: "No 1 daddy".
The service, which is being attended by around 50 members of PC Palmer's family including his wife, child, parents, brother and sisters, will be followed a private cremation.
PC Palmer was killed as he tried to stop Masood enter the Houses of Parliament. Masood, who had already driven into people on Westminster Bridge, was shot dead by police.
Officers and members of the public lined the route as his coffin travelled from a chapel at the Palace of Westminster.
His body had been lying in rest there by special permission of the Queen.
The coffin was taken to the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft on Sunday and received by a guard of honour from his police branch, the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command.
The Charlton Athletic season-ticket holder had served in the Metropolitan Police for 15 years.
Members of his family attended a short private service in the chapel on Sunday, before officers watched over his coffin throughout the night.
Two thousand Met officers are on duty for the funeral in policing and ceremonial roles.
Sara Thornton, who leads the National Police Chiefs' Council, said officers from all over the country were travelling to London to line the route, while others were holding a two-minute silence outside police stations as the funeral takes place.

'Sadness and loss'

"I don't think we will have ever seen a police funeral of this size," she said.
"Keith didn't hesitate to act when confronted by a terrorist - his bravery and his courage are something that all officers are very proud of, but also there is a tremendous sense of sadness and of loss."
PC Keith PalmerImage copyrightPA
Image captionPC Palmer was fatally stabbed by Masood on 22 March
Police officers react as the hearse goes past themImage copyrightAFP/GETTY
Image captionPolice officers watched as the hearse went past them
The hearse arrives at Southwark CathedralImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionTributes were paid to PC Palmer's courage
David Lewis
Image captionDavid Lewis joined the crowd of well-wishers after his night shift
The hearse arrives at Southwark CathedralImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionThe funeral cortege was led by the Dean of Southwark, the Very Reverend Andrew Nunn
Police make their way to PC Palmer's funeral
Image captionA floral tribute reads "brother" and "husband"
Special sergeant Matthew Warden, from Nottinghamshire, made the journey "because we are all one big family" and special constable Amanda Stansfield, from West Yorkshire Police, said she wanted to show support for her London colleagues.
Campbell McBryer, a retired counter-terrorism officer who served with Sussex police for 23 years, said he was "proud" of the support people had shown.
"I just sat and cried when I heard the news," he added.
Another well-wisher, David Lewis, from Orpington, said it was important for ordinary Londoners to pay their respects.
"It just shows as a country that we want to pay our respects to somebody that gave their life to protect the rest of us," he said.

'Public grief'

The Very Reverend Andrew Nunn, the dean of Southwark Cathedral, told the BBC that it was vital both that the family could grieve privately and for the public to pay their respects.
"I hope for the family they receive the comfort that they need through the service, because they're having to grieve publically and that must be a very, very difficult thing," he said.
"But then the rest of the nation needs to pay its respects and say thank you for what PC Palmer actually did in defending in the place where he was serving."
PC Palmer's name was also added to the National Police Memorial, which records the names of officers who have been killed in the line of duty, during a special ceremony in London.
The funeral is the first engagement for new Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick.
Flags were flying at half mast above New Scotland Yard to honour PC Palmer.
PC Keith Palmer's name on the National Police MemorialImage copyrightPA
Image captionPC Palmer's name has been added to the National Police Memorial in London
Before attacking PC Palmer, Masood had driven his car into crowds on Westminster Bridge, causing injuries that have resulted in four deaths.
Romanian Andreea Cristea, 31, who fell from the bridge into the River Thames, died in hospital on Thursday.
Aysha Frade, 44, who worked at a London sixth-form college, US tourist Kurt Cochran, 54, and retired south London window cleaner Leslie Rhodes, 75, were also killed.
Masood was shot by police officers in New Palace Yard, inside the Westminster estate, after he had fatally stabbed PC Palmer.