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Thread: Repatriated Military Personnel

  1. #1
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    Default Repatriated Military Personnel

    Forumites may have seen the front page article in today's Mail on Sunday newspaper, on the way that Britain welcomes home its repatriated military personnel. If you haven't / can't, check out :- http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/pages/...n_page_id=1964

    I have therefore forwarded my comments, for what they are worth, to the Chief Constable of the Thames Valley Police, to my local Chief Officer of Police and my M.P. for their information, in response to that forces (TPV) attitude to the repatriation of our military personnel and have copied it below.

    " Dear Chief Constable < chiefconstable@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk >

    If the Mail on Sunday newspaper of today front page etc is to be believed, then the decision by your force not to provide escort and facilitation through Oxford's notorious congested traffic of those military personnel who have given their lives for their country on their final journey to the morgue, it is an absolute disgrace and you should be ashamed of yourself and your police service.

    The sight of those two hearses with coffins draped in the Union Flag, abandoned and stuck in traffic at a roundabout, with not a police officer in sight, should be pasted on every police station front door, notice board and web-site as a reminder as to what the Thames Valley Police stands for, and the respect that it shows to its public.

    The remarks attributed by your Assistant Chief Constable that he and your force regards this matter as a 'non-compulsory ceremonial matter' to justify his and your existence is an insult to those who have given far more that you could ever dream of.

    Compare your attitude to our military service personnel to when one of your officers makes that final public parade e.g. the funeral this week of the Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police. Mind you he was one of your own, and I suppose that was different. Mind you he didn't give his life for his country in some foreign field that is forever England, he just went up a lonely mountain and killed himself.

    You need to reconsider your force's decision as of the Monday morning senior officer's briefing, for the good name of the Thames Valley Police, you, it's senior officer and the good name of this country. What you have allowed to perpetuate is nothing short of a national embarrassment.

    And just remember, you are here to provide a SERVICE. You are not an occupying FORCE. Not everything is to be quantified in sterling. I would expect no more or no less respect shown to our military personnel by you and your officers as if that person were a refuse collector, postman, teacher or other public servant. We showed, and still do show, due regard to military personnel of former enemies (Germany etc) than you have demonstrated to that of our own military personnel.

    Your and that Assistant of yours should consider your positions and your attitude.

    Just think, if that was your son, brother, husband, father, what would you expect?

    Yours sincerely
    Stewart McLoughlin
    Preston, Lancashire "

    Forumites may wish to consider if they want to express similar thoughts to the TVP, and copy them to their local Chief Officer of Police / M.P. so that it doesn't happen 'on his watch'.

    Sad to report that as of 10:00 GMT today (14th) it is reported that two members of the R.A.F. Regiment have lost their lives in Afghanistan.

    Stewart McLoughlin

  2. #2
    klaasvanderheide Guest

    Default military oersonnel

    Srewart.
    I fully agree with you in this matter,but not only the Thames police is to blame.
    In my opinion the two hearses had to be escorted by a military escort and the police had to clear roundabouts and road crossings.
    Klaas van der Heide
    Leeuwarden
    The Netheterlands

  3. #3
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    REPLY FROM THE T.V.P. CHIEF CONSTABLE

    From: Chief Constable
    To: stewart.mcloughlin
    Sent: Monday, April 14, 2008 1:08 PM
    Subject: RE: REPATRIATED MILITARY PERSONNEL

    Dear Mr McLoughlin,

    Thank you for your e-mail. Please see the statement below, issued by the Chief Constable this morning.

    Message from Chief Constable Sara Thornton regarding escort of military hearses through Oxfordshire

    It is very important that the sacrifice made by young men and women in our armed forces is properly recognised by the whole community and the police have a part to play in that act of respect.

    At the beginning of the action in Iraq and Afghanistan, our service men and women were brought to RAF Brize Norton and were escorted by Thames Valley Police motorcyclists to the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford. A year ago this changed to RAF Lyneham and Wiltshire Constabulary took over initial responsibility for escort. Unfortunately, this coincided with the withdrawal of all our motorcycles from the road after the deaths of two police officers elsewhere in the country and so Thames Valley Police was unable to continue the escort from the Wiltshire border.

    We are, however, about to take delivery of a new fleet of motorcycles and they will be operational from the second week of June. Thames Valley Police will then recommence the escort to facilitate movement through traffic.

    I apologise for any distress caused by the photographs of military hearses caught in heavy traffic on the congested roads of Oxford.

    Dr. Lucy Mason
    Executive Research Officer
    Chief Constable's Office
    Thames Valley Police Headquarters
    Kidlington
    OXON
    OX5 2NX

    MY REPLY
    Dear Chief Constable

    I note your reply, but there was nothing to stop you allowing Wiltshire Constabulary carrying out the full escort under the circumstances of your absent motor cycle fleet.
    I personally have been involved in a number of cross-border escorts without problem or incident. It just takes agreement between the two parties.
    The comment made by your Assistant Chief Constable says more of your inactivity that your considered response.

    Stewart McLoughlin

    Let's hope there are no more such incidents before June!!!
    Last edited by Stewart McLoughlin; 14th April 2008 at 14:41.

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