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Memorial to Ilford police officer shot in the line of duty restored after vandals destroyed it

PUBLISHED: 12:28 11 November 2016 | UPDATED: 09:16 14 November 2016

Police officers and relatives gather for the unveiling of the new plaque for PC Phillip Walters in Empress Avenue.

Police officers and relatives gather for the unveiling of the new plaque for PC Phillip Walters in Empress Avenue.

Archant

The memorial to a Ilford police officer – who was shot and killed while attending a routine call out – was unveiled yesterday after it was callously destroyed by vandals.

Pc Phillip Walters, 28, who joined the Met in September 1993, was shot in the chest during a late shift on April 18, 1995, when he tried to arrest a man.

In July, a memorial near the spot of the tragedy in Empress Avenue, Ilford, was smashed by vandals, provoking outrage across the borough and on social media.

His parents, friends and colleagues, as well as Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe and borough commander Det Ch Supt Mandy Beacher gathered together yesterday for the unveiling.

Geraldine Winner, chairman of the Police Memorial Trust, condemned the act of “mindless vandalism”.

She said: “I’m very proud that we are able to do this.

“It is the second time that I’ve known a police memorial to be vandalised and it was the worst. It was disgusting.”

The charity, which was founded by Geraldine’s late husband Michael, paid for the new memorial stone which was handmade in India.

Colin Walters, the father of Phillip, said he was “touched” by the outpouring of support that had followed after the vandalism occurred.

He said: “It was heartbreaking to learn it had been damaged.

“We come to visit it all the time.

“We don’t get a lot of things. We can’t go to Phillip’s wedding, his engagement party or just pop round to see him.

“But we do have this memorial, so when it was broken, it was heartbreaking for us.”

Ilford South MP Mike Gapes and the Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Gurdial Bhamra also attended the ceremony, where Commissioner Hogan-Howe praised Pc Walters bravery.

He said: “His bravery will never be forgotten.

“When shocking acts like this happen, we are always going to put it right.”


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