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Vandals smash Ilford memorial to brave police officer shot in the line of duty

PUBLISHED: 10:50 01 July 2016 | UPDATED: 15:51 01 July 2016

Pc Phillip Walters', left, memorial in Empress Avenue, Ilford, right, has been vandalised. Pc Walters was shot and killed in the line of duty in Empress Avenue 21 years ago.

Pc Phillip Walters', left, memorial in Empress Avenue, Ilford, right, has been vandalised. Pc Walters was shot and killed in the line of duty in Empress Avenue 21 years ago.

Archant/Met Police

The memorial to a Redbridge police officer – who was shot and killed while attending a routine call out – has been destroyed by vandals.

The memorial to Pc Phillip Walters in Empress Avenue, Ilford, has been vandalised. Pc Walters was shot there 21 years ago and died in the line of duty.The memorial to Pc Phillip Walters in Empress Avenue, Ilford, has been vandalised. Pc Walters was shot there 21 years ago and died in the line of duty.

On April 18 1995 Pc Phillip Walters and fellow officers were called to a disturbance at a house in Empress Avenue, Ilford.

They found three people beating up a man, and as the trio tried to escaped Pc Walters was shot. He died later in hospital aged only 28.

Empress Road residents woke up today to find the marble memorial near to the scene of the shooting smashed to pieces.

The shocking pictures show shards of stone scattered across the pavement.

Flowers placed at pc Phillip Walters memorialFlowers placed at pc Phillip Walters memorial

Julia Newcombe, 57, who was a paramedic at Ilford Ambulance Station at the time of the shooting, said the news filled her with “sadness”.

“What is wrong with the vandals and what can they possibly achieve from this act of madness,” she added.

Sally Giles, 54, joined Pc Walters’ team shortly after his death.

She told the Recorder: “I never had the privilege to know him, he was undoubtedly a very brave and courageous police officer.

The memorial to pc Phillip Walters who died 20 years ago on dutyThe memorial to pc Phillip Walters who died 20 years ago on duty

“The damage caused to the memorial stone was obviously carried out by cowards and sad individuals who have no respect or remorse for anything or anyone.”

Ms Giles, who served in the Met for 30 years, added: “The death of Phillip effected all my team members, police officers and civilian staff both physically and mentally.”

Each year, on April 18, friends, family and police hold a service in memory of Pc Walters and place flowers at the memorial.

More than 200 people attended the 20th anniversary two years ago, and Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said at the time Pc Walters represented “the best of policing”.

There is a second memorial to Pc Walters, funded by Recorder readers, in Valentines Park.

A Redbridge Police spokeswoman said: “Officers have attended the memorial stone and are dealing with the matter accordingly.”

She added the borough commander Ch Supt Mandy Beacher had also visited and would be issuing a statement at a later time.

What do you think about this? Email ralph.blackburn@archant.co.uk or call 0208 477 3821.


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