UK police forces and units up and down the country have plastered their cars with poppies to commemorate the enormous sacrafices made by Commonwealth and Allied armed forces on the centenary of World War One.
Officers and forces shared images on social media of the decorated cars, as well as photos showing them collecting money for the Royal British Legion’s annual appeal.
They included West Mercia Police, Worksop North Police in Nottinghamshire, Copeland and Cumbria Police, the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit, City of London Police’s Dog Section, Lancashire Police Dog Unit, and Lincolnshire Police Dog Section.
Most prominent of all, however, was Devon and Cornwall Police, which shared multiple images of two of their cars completely covered in oversized poppies, whilst proudly posing with officers and the force’s dogs.
For the first time ever, we’ve covered two of our police cars in poppies to remember the 34 D&C police officers who died during the First World War and show our support to the #PoppyAppeal
— DevonCornwall Police (@DC_Police) October 30, 2018
The “specially branded cars” will be out and about in Devon and Cornwall throughout November on patrol and attending a number of events, including one at Exeter Cathedral and Remembrance Day services with officers from the local area.
Devon and Cornwall Police Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer said: “Around 360 police officers from the two counties served in the armed forces during the war with 34 losing their lives.
“This year we have invited members of their families to join our service at HQ to learn about their stories and remember their sacrifice.
“We hope that the car will remind people of the sacrifices that were made and encourage people to go out and buy a poppy ahead of this year’s Remembrance Day and actively engage with the Royal British Legion’s campaign.”
We're excited to launch this year’s #PoppyAppeal w/ 15 installations across the country highlighting reasons to say Thank You to the #WW1 generation. We're calling on the nation to wear their poppies with pride & join us in saying Thank You. https://t.co/q4yOHQIDdL #ThankYou100 pic.twitter.com/0xOetrClLL
— Royal British Legion (@PoppyLegion) October 25, 2018
Susanne Archard, Area Manager for the Royal British Legion for Devon and Cornwall, added:
“This is the first year that Devon and Cornwall Police have proudly supported the Legion in this way and we’re delighted to be working with them in this very special centenary year.
“This Poppy Appeal, as we mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, the Legion is calling on the nation to say Thank You to the entire First World War generation who served, sacrificed and changed our world.”
A fleet of cars from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit have also been adorned with poppy stickers in the lead-up to Remembrance Day.
— BCH Road Policing (@roadpoliceBCH) October 23, 2018
PC Mark Fairclough, who served in the armed forces before joining the police, said: “I am proud to support the centennial Remembrance Day with this gesture.”
He added: “This is certainly not a glorification of war. We will be supporting the British Legion in their poppy appeal as we show our respects on this momentous anniversary.”
Police cars in West Mercia and Warwickshire are doing a similar thing after it was well received by the public last year. Sargent Lee Baker from the local force told the Bromsgrove Standard:
“Last year we just did it in Bromsgrove as we did not have a lot of time to get it done.
Brilliant and possibly the first time I’ve ever inspired anyone!! I’m hoping that all this interest will lead people to buy the stickers that are being developed by @PoppyLegion for next year. I would love to see them on emergency vehicles across the country. #LestWeForget https://t.co/A9i2nq6blq
— Lee Baker (@LeeBaker0578) October 29, 2018
“I said if it did well and got a good response I would try and roll it out and I’m pleased to say that, after agreement from the two Chiefs, this year poppies will be on vehicles all over West Mercia, Warwickshire, Shropshire and Herefordshire.”
Home Secretary and local MP Sajid Javid also backed the move. “The annual Remembrance services we have are among the most important parts of our national calendar and to have poppies on our police cars is a great idea.
“My congratulations go to Sgt Lee Baker for his achievement in getting the idea rolled out across the force areas. It’s a great example for other police forces to follow.”
Worksop Police Cadets are at Morrisons in Worksop between 10am and 2pm today and tomorrow, Poppy selling on behalf of The Royal British Legion. If you haven't got your Poppy yet please come down and show your support. #lestweforget pic.twitter.com/KteUUhysgD
— Worksop Police (@WorksopCops) October 30, 2018