Today saw the memorial service for PC Ian Dibell, who was shot and killed whilst off duty, when he intervened in a dispute between neighbours in Essex in July this year.
I missed the start of the 10 o’clock news tonight, was it features, it certainly wasn’t featured in the majority of the other 20 minutes I did see.
As is normal practice when preparing entries for this blog, I go to the Google News section and input the word ‘police’. I then scan the search pages for any stories worthy of comment. I was looking for news of the service. I gave up after 10 pages, 100 hits.
I tried again, this time with “police Dibell”. Google came up with the goods, a link to the news story on the BBC News website (where I get most of my stories from). I’ve also checked the BBC News front page to see what I could glean of the memorial service. I’m struggling though; it’s not on the front page, neither is it on the front page of the UK News section. You’re alright though if you’re looking for news of some overpaid footballer’s latest transfer, some band nobody’s ever heard of bus crashing where nobody was killed, some other footballer forced to quit football after a heart attack, and the government’s new play space rules causing a ruckus.
No matter, on to the England News page. Oh, there’s the bus plunge story, GB gold medalist returning home, some TV actor caught using his mobile phone and a boy microwaving the neighbour’s cat.
Found it!, you need to go to the eastern region sub section and select Essex, it’s the top story.
So onto the story itself. Apparently hundreds of people attended. Chief constables of forces from all over the country attended. I looked for photos of lined streets, hundreds, or thousands of police officers in best dressed uniform, squad cars and police motorcycle riders lining the root, just like regular readers of this blog will have seen in previous posts about American cops who have memorial services.
All I got was the photo of Ian Dibell that we know from all the previous stories, a photo of the Home Secretary, Theresa may at the Service, an occasional pic of PC Dibell’s girlfriend. I’ve checked a good 20 websites mentioning the story. I can only assume they weren’t there.
If we can’t honour our own properly, how can we expect the public to change their attitude to the worth of a police officer’s life?