Clacton: Call to honour “heroic” policeman

A CAMPAIGN has been launched to honour an heroic off-duty police officer who was shot down dead after trying to intervene in a dispute.

More than 4,000 people have joined a Facebook group calling for PC Ian Dibell to be awarded the George Cross for his bravery.

The 41-year-old was killed when he tried to prevent crazed gunman Peter Reeve, chasing a neighbour, Trevor Marshall, down a street in Clacton on July 9.

Leading the campaign is retired police support staff worker Chris Willcock who worked alongside PC Dibell’s brother and father who both served in the Essex Police force.

Since the tragic incident tributes have poured in from friends, colleagues and people around the country who praised his selfless actions.

He said he had received more than 200 emails from people around the country and abroad with letters of recommendation.

“I think what Ian did was a tremendous act of bravery and it deserves to be recognised,” he said.

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“I’ve been completely overwhelmed with the support so far which shows the strength of feeling and I’m confident we will succeed.

“Ian’s family are aware of what we’re doing and thanked us and I’ve had a positive meeting with Essex Police Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle this week who has indicated his support.”

Mr Willcock said he had written to all MPs in Essex asking for their support and so far Harwich and North Essex MP Bernard Jenkin and Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell had leant their support. Chelmsford MP Simon Burns and Southend West MP David Amess have also backed the campaign.

Mr Willcock said he has received all the necessary paperwork to begin the application and it is thought Essex Police will also make their own bid once the investigation is complete.

MP for Colchester Sir Bob Russell said: “I have had a number of constituents contact me about PC Ian Dibell and calling for him to be honoured in some way and I have written to the Home Secretary to ask for her advice on what the process is.

“An honour may offer some comfort to his family, friends and colleagues - it’s the least society can do to show their appreciation and thanks for what he did.”

Letters of recommendation can be emailed to honourcampaign@hotmail.co.uk

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