Memorial to fallen police officer

PRIME MINISTER David Cameron unveiled a memorial to fallen police officer Pc Gary Toms.

PRIME MINISTER David Cameron unveiled a memorial to fallen police officer Pc Gary Toms.

The 37-year-old died days after sustaining serious head injuries at the end of a high-speed police chase in the early hours of April 11 last year.

The firearms officer had been following a vehicle in connection with a robbery in Dagenham.

It ended in Ashlin Road, Stratford, where he suffered severe head injuries which led to his death six days later at The Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel.

The Prime Minister joined other dignitaries including London Mayor Boris Johnson, local MPs Stephen Timms and Lyn Brown, members of Pc Toms’ family, as well as police officers from a variety of boroughs at a ceremony held at the spot where Pc Toms sustained head injuries.

Film-maker Michael Winner, founder and chairman of the Police Memorial Trust, was the first to pay tribute to Pc Toms as well as policemen and women as a whole.

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He said: “It is right that the landscape of Newham should change just a little to reflect the sacrifice and bravery of Pc Gary Toms.”

He said Britain had always had memorial for soldiers and airmen but now a “war that has no beginning and no end” was being fought by police officers.

The Prime Minister said Pc Toms showed “true bravery and made the ultimate sacrifice”.

His comments were echoed by Sir Paul Stephenson, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

The memorial was unveiled by the PM who laid flowers, followed by Mr Winner, Mr Johnson, Sir Paul and members of Pc Toms’ family including his mother Theresa Toms and sister Nicola Toms.

Pc Toms’ widow, Clair, laid flowers in private.

The service was also attended by Cllr Andrew Baikie, the Deputy Mayor of Newham, and Chief Supt Simon Letchford, Borough Commander.

Councillor Andrew Baikie, Deputy Mayor of Newham, represented the council which gave planning permission for the erection of the Memorial at which he laid flowers.

He said: “Newham Council welcomes the oppportunity to support the Trust and honour Pc Toms. We have suported the creation of this Memorial.”