Essex: Officers’ guard of honour for heroic police constable Ian Dibell
POLICE officers formed a poignant guard of honour at the funeral of heroic Essex constable Ian Dibell.
Two-dozen police colleagues made the gesture as Pc Dibell’s coffin - draped in an Essex constabulary flag - was ushered into Weeley Crematorium yesterday.
The 41-year-old was killed near his home in Clacton, Essex, while he was off duty on July 9.
It is thought he was going to the aid of Trevor Marshall, 48, who was injured in the attack.
His suspected killer, Peter Reeve, 64, shot himself dead in a churchyard in Writtle, near Chelmsford, the following day.
Around 130 people - including family, close friends and colleagues - attended the service.
Following the guard of honour, the coffin, which carried Pc Dibell’s officer’s hat on top, was solemnly and respectfully carried into the crematorium by six police pallbearers.
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Earlier Essex Police chief constable Jim Barker-McCardle saluted Pc Dibell’s coffin as it drove past. He stood alongside Clacton MP Douglas Carswell and Anthony Jackson, Essex Police Authority chairman.
Mr Carswell said: “The service was extraordinarily moving. It marked not only the passing of Ian’s life, but his act of remarkable courage.
“Somehow the service in Weeley did not seem to do full justice to the enormity of his bravery. We need to do something more.
“You see, Ian Dibell was off-duty when, unarmed, he challenged the gunman. It seems he must have made a split-second, selfless, decision to go to the aid of his neighbours.”
It is planned yesterday’s private funeral will be followed by a memorial service and celebration of Pc Dibell’s life. Essex Police is working with the officer’s family to hold the event at St James’ Church, Clacton, on August 15.
A campaign calling for Pc Dibell to be awarded the George Cross is gathering strength. Nearly 4,500 have signed up to a Facebook group pushing for the officer to be recognised for his bravery.
Meanwhile tributes continue to flood in for Pc Dibell.
Terry Rackley, who works at Essex police, posting on Facebook, said: “RIP Essex Police Constable Ian Dibell, being laid to rest today in Weeley, Clacton.
“Sleep well my friend you are a true hero in the eyes of every decent person across the world.
“Shot by a coward whilst helping others.”
Mr Barker-McCardle has described Pc Dibell as a brave officer, adding: “Ian’s tragic death reminds us all that it’s not the uniform that makes a police officer but the instinctive, brave and selfless help to others.”