‘One last duty for Her Majesty’ – police officer served at Queen’s funeral

Detective Inspector Mehdi Fallahi was among more than 80 officers representing police forces across the country in the Queen's funeral procession yesterday
Detective Inspector Mehdi Fallahi was among more than 80 officers representing police forces across the country in the Queen’s funeral procession yesterday

A SUSSEX Police officer has spoken of his pride in representing the county at the Queen’s state funeral.

Detective Inspector Mehdi Fallahi was chosen to represent the force in a ceremonial role along the funeral route, joining colleagues from police services from across England and Wales.

He said he felt a “real sense of pride” when he received a call to be told he had been chosen to represent Sussex Police at the ceremony.

“I knew I would not only be representing the service and my colleagues but also the community of Sussex,” DI Fallahi said.

“For me, it’s a real privilege to have the ability to be able to perform one last duty in person for Her Majesty the Queen and to pay my respects to the King and the Royal Family.”

The Argus: Police officers walk down The Mall ahead of Queen Elizabeth II state funeral: credit - PA
The Argus: Police officers walk down The Mall ahead of Queen Elizabeth II state funeral: credit – PA

Police officers walk down The Mall ahead of Queen Elizabeth II state funeral: credit – PA

He said that the day was “extremely emotional”, particularly as he looked down The Mall for the first time, seeing Buckingham Palace and the lines of Union Flags and people lining either side of the road.

“You’re hit by the crowds clapping and cheering to show their support for the Royal Family, but also for the armed forces and the emergency services.

“I felt like clapping back, as they were the ones who had been up all night, out in the cold, so it was a real sense of privilege and an honour to be a part of that.”

DI Fallahi said that, while the ceremony was a sombre affair, the procession was also a celebration of Her Majesty’s life and her decades of service to the nation.

“She was a true inspiration for us all and, for me, the funeral will be a day in my life that I’ll never forget,” he said.

‘One of Sussex Police’s largest operations’

Chief Superintendent Jerry Westerman, head of operations command for Surrey and Sussex Police, was the gold commander for the policing operation behind the short Surrey stretch of the route that the Queen’s coffin took on her final journey from London to Windsor.

He said: “Monday was a moment in history for us as we said goodbye to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

“For Surrey and Sussex Police, it was one of the largest ever policing operations.

“Operation London Bridge, as it was known, was many years in the planning and was reviewed regularly, but when the news broke there was still a huge amount of work to do to finalise those plans and implement them with only ten days to do so.”

The Argus: Police officers get into position on Horse Guards Road ahead of the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II: credit - PA
The Argus: Police officers get into position on Horse Guards Road ahead of the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II: credit – PA

Police officers get into position on Horse Guards Road ahead of the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II: credit – PA

Chief Superintendent Westerman said that a range of different events were held during that time that required police support, including the arrival of foreign dignitaries arriving at Gatwick Airport.

He said: “However, the largest element of it was the funeral day itself and we had over 1,000 police officers from Surrey and Sussex, alongside special constables and police staff working on that event itself to ensure the safety and security of Her Majesty on her final journey.

“We were honoured and privileged to play our part in the nation’s response to this sad but remarkable event.”

Funeral arrangements ‘could not affect response to the public’

Superintendent Graham Barnett from Surrey and Sussex Police Joint Operations Command said that the huge policing effort made did not come at a cost to wider public safety, with staff sacrificing days off and working extended 12-hour days.

He said: “We were clear from the outset we could not affect our response to the public within Sussex or Surrey Police’s areas.

“Whilst we’ve got a duty and responsibility to protect the public along the route and support the cortege as it passed through 6.2 miles in Surrey, we’ve also got a responsibility to the wider public and to deal with everyday business.

“We ensured that our business as usual capability was where it needed to be and enhanced that by ten per cent because of the unknowns around what sort of impact the day itself would have.”

Published by anthonyhayble

I AM A PROFESSIONAL BLOGGER WHO BLOGS ON EVENTS, NEWS AND CELEBRITY ACTIVITIES. YOU WILL GET THE LATEST BLOGGING UPDATES WITH UP TO DATE NEWS AND EVENTS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU. COMMENTS AND LIKES ARE ALSO WELCOMED. I AM STILL IN THE PROCESS OF BUILDING AND UPDATING MY BLOGS AND IT WOULD BE UP AND RUNNING SHORTLY. THIS IS STILL A NEW SITE AND WILL GREATLY IMPROVE WITH TIME

%d bloggers like this: