STUART McGINLEY: Our brave police officers are human too

It was only a matter of weeks ago that a police officer was brutally stabbed and killed as he tried to protect the public and MPs outside the houses of parliament.

PC Keith Palmer has been described like any other officer I know, dedicated, hardworking and committed to making a positive difference.

The tributes from politicians and the public at his selfless bravery which ultimately cost him his life was very moving, and did make us all feel united in the fight against terrorism.

Therefore, I am baffled as to why The Sun newspaper decided to publish an article recently, seemingly poking fun at eight officers all taking their 45-minute break during their shift and having a cup of tea.

Well what a shocker, it appears that police officers are human after all and need to eat and drink like the rest of us! I find the publishing of an article like this so tasteless, especially as we have all been reminded recently of the dangers our officers face every day.

What was heartening being the see the backlash from members of the public, who thankfully didn’t add to the cynical undertone of this so-called story, instead they rallied round and defended all those dedicated people who work for all the emergency services.

My partner has been a serving police officer for over 10 years now and, with the recent cuts, he has been put under increasing pressure to meet targets, do increased admin tasks and continue to serve an increasingly large area as backroom staff and officer numbers are cut.

I have witnessed him coming home increasingly late and exhausted after some shifts, especially at weekends where he has often gone through an entire 10-hour shift with no time to eat anything.

So I am glad those officers had the chance to take their break as I guarantee it won’t be something they will be able to take often.

If only The Sun newspaper would focus on how their risk their lives for us every day instead.

PC Keith Palmer left home one morning to head to work and never came home, that puts everything into perspective, doesn’t it?

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