Officers from across UK pay respects to Paul McKeever

THERE were tears and laughter at the Memorial Service to former Police Federation of England and Wales chairman Paul McKeever.

Neil Bowles, South Yorkshire Police Federation chairman, and secretary Jim Lucas, were in London on Saturday 9 February for the 75 minute service, which was also attended by ACPO President Sir Hugh Orde, Home Secretary Theresa May and HMCIC Tom Winsor – as well as hundreds of officers from all ranks.

Mr McKeever, who became National Federation chairman in 2008, joined the Met in 1977 and was two weeks away from retirement when he died suddenly on January 17 aged just 57.

The service – at London’s Southwark Cathedral – included tributes from his widow Charmian and daughter Henrietta.

There was also a guard of honour that included Federation representatives from across the country, Police National Memorial Day founder Joe Holness and Ch Supt Derek Barnett, the outgoing president of the Superintendents’ Association.

Clive Chamberlain, Chairman of Dorset Police Federation, told the audience: “Paul was one of the finest police officers in the finest Police Service in the world. He took the Job seriously but never himself.”

Both Charmian and Henrietta McKeever described his “devilish” sense of humour.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe led the service in prayers and Theresa May read a Bible verse from Ecclesiastes. Sir Hugh Orde read the poem If by Rudyard Kipling, saying: “If there is a poem for British policing, this is it. I think Paul would approve.”