Police officers who made the ultimate sacrifice while on duty

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The police officer who has died after being shot in Croydon joins a long list of colleagues killed in the line of duty.

A National Police Memorial roll of honour in London lists all the officers who have been killed by criminal acts in the line of duty since 1680.

The roll records more than 1,600 officers who have died while performing vital tasks such as foiling terrorists, quelling rioters and marshalling protests.

Among them was Pc Andrew Harper, who died when he was caught in a tow rope and dragged along country lanes after trying to stop quad bike thieves in Berkshire in August 2019.

His three teenage killers were cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter after an Old Bailey trial.

In July this year, West Midlands Police special constable Resham Singh Nahal died months after being struck by a car while attending another collision last November.

The roll of honour also includes unarmed Pc Keith Palmer, who was stabbed in March 2017 by Khalid Masood during the Westminster Bridge terror attack.

Masood’s rampage, in which five people died, was ended when he was shot dead by a minister’s close protection officer.

Pc Palmer was posthumously awarded the George Medal.

A memorial in memory of Pc Keith Palmer
A memorial in memory of Pc Keith Palmer (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Detective Sergeant Christopher Head, 30, Detective Constable David Wombwell, 25, and Pc Geoffrey Fox, 41, were shot without warning while questioning three suspects in a van.

In more recent times, Pc Gary Toms, 37, was critically injured confronting suspects in Leyton, east London, on April 11 2009.

David Cameron lays a wreath during a memorial ceremony for Gary Toms
David Cameron lays a wreath during a memorial ceremony for Gary Toms (Toby Melville/PA)

Her killer has never been brought to justice and film director Michael Winner founded the Police Memorial Trust as a result of her murder.

Pc Fiona Bone, 32, and Pc Nicola Hughes, 23, were murdered by Dale Cregan in Greater Manchester in September 2012.

Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes
Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

Another name on the roll is Pc Keith Blakelock, a 40-year-old father of three who was set on by a mob and hacked to death with a machete during the Broadwater Farm riots in 1985.

Winston Silcott, along with two other men, was found guilty of his murder but in 1991 their convictions were overturned on appeal because of “unsafe” police evidence.

Pc Ian Broadhurst, 34, of West Yorkshire Police, was murdered by David Bieber, 38, in Leeds on Boxing Day 2003.

Bieber also shot two of Pc Broadhurst’s colleagues.

The funeral of Pc Ian Broadhurst
The funeral of Pc Ian Broadhurst (Phil Noble/PA)

Detective Constable Michael Swindells, 44, died after he was knifed in the stomach as he and colleagues conducted a search in Birmingham in May 2004.

Detective Constable Stephen Oake died during a police raid on a flat in Crumpsall, Manchester, in January 2003.

Kamel Bourgass launched a frenzied knife attack on the Special Branch officer as he tried to escape.

The Algerian was sentenced to life for his murder.

Det Con Stephen Oake
Det Con Stephen Oake (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

Pc Alison Armitage, 29, was run down by a stolen car in March 2001.

She died during an undercover operation in Hollinwood, near Oldham, Greater Manchester.

She was run over twice by a driver in a stolen vehicle in the car park of a derelict pub.

In October 1997, Pc Nina Mackay was stabbed to death in a raid in Stratford, east London, by paranoid schizophrenic Magdi Elgizouli.

Police officers also find themselves in danger when they are off duty.

Father-of-two Pc Ian Dibell, 41, was off work with a hand injury when he was killed near his home in Clacton in July 2012.

He had gone to help a member of the public who had been injured in a gun attack and was shot himself.

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