Clacton: Hundreds attend policeman Ian Dibell’s memorial service
HOME Secretary Theresa May joined police officers of all ranks as they paid tribute to a colleague shot dead as he went to the aid of a member of the public.
Hundreds of people packed St James Church in Clacton-on-Sea to remember Pc Ian Dibell, 41, who was killed near his home in the seaside town while he was off duty on July 9.
The memorial service was attended by Pc Dibell’s family, chief constables from neighbouring police forces, rank and file officers, and members of the public.
Officers from Essex Police held a guard of honour at the entrance to the church.
Pc Dibell’s girlfriend, police community support officer Louise Lilley, his sister-in-law Nicole Dibell, and Essex chief constable Jim Barker-McCardle were delivering tributes during the service.
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A message of condolence from the Prince of Wales was read to the congregation.
In his tribute, Charles said Pc Dibell’s death served as a reminder of the sacrifices officers make and the dangers they face. “This serves as a reminder that a police officer is never off duty,” he wrote.
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Several members of the congregation broke down in tears as Miss Lilley delivered her tribute to the father of two.
She said that the couple, who were due to begin a holiday in Spain on Wednesday, had recently begun living together.
“I felt excited, happy and complete,” she said. “Ian loved his community and was on speaking terms with everybody. Most of all he was a real family man.”