Officers honour London terror victims with run

·3-min read
<p>PC Darren Sanders, PC Mick Gibson and Sgt Darren Laurie run to sites of recent terror attacks</p> (Jason Bye/MartisMedia)

PC Darren Sanders, PC Mick Gibson and Sgt Darren Laurie run to sites of recent terror attacks

(Jason Bye/MartisMedia)

Three Met officers ran 18 miles around London to honour those killed in recent terrorist attacks by visiting each scene.

PC Darren Sanders, PC Mick Gibson and Sergeant Darren Laurie’s Run To Remember challenge took place on Thursday on the fourth anniversary of the London Bridge atrocity.

Eight were killed and 48 seriously injured when three men drove into pedestrians before launching a knife attack in nearby Borough Market.

The officers said they also wanted to highlight the trauma and mental health issues suffered by emergency services staff who responded.

They stopped to pay their respects at the National Police Memorial and four sites of 2017 terror attacks – London Bridge, Westminster, Parsons Green and Finsbury Park mosque – as well as at Grenfell Tower, where 72 died in a tragic fire two weeks after London Bridge on June 3.

Sgt Darren Laurie, one of the first at London Bridge and Westminster, said: “We are remembering the victims and those who were injured. There are still people living with injuries as a result.

“We also want to highlight the ongoing welfare of all blue light services, those who attended these incidents but also those who suffer trauma from day-to-day events.

PC Darren Sanders, PC Mick Gibson and Sgt Darren Laurie visit where colleague PC Keith Palmer died (Jason Bye/MartisMedia)
PC Darren Sanders, PC Mick Gibson and Sgt Darren Laurie visit where colleague PC Keith Palmer died (Jason Bye/MartisMedia)

“We’re remembering what happened that year in London, but we’re also very conscious of the Manchester Arena attack that year too.

“We all know officers who were affected. Sometimes there is delayed trauma – police officers, ambulance staff and firefighters carry that stress forward.”

Sgt Laurie added: “It was a tough 18 miles – and it was very hot. We’ve covered every step of every mile.

“For us it was about marking the day. As officers we all have stories and know of people affected by all the events of 2017. But even the daily things we see as police officers… some people can see it as normal business. Some people can struggle a little bit.

“Four years have passed since some of these events in 2017 and I am still getting phone calls from people saying they are struggling a little bit so today was about raising the welfare of not just police officers but all emergency services.”

Earlier this year, Sgt Laurie was awarded a Police Medal and Bronze Clasp by the Royal Humane Society for his courage along with 15 other Met officers who also received medals.

He said: “These were the first major counter-terrorism incidents in London since the 2005 bombings. There were some very young officers there, but everyone stepped up.

“Everyone took whatever role fell to them and got on as best as they could. The actions of those officers made things slightly better than they would have been otherwise. People lived and people were less injured because of those officers.”

The officers visit the Grenfell Towers scene, where 72 died (Jason Bye/MartisMedia)
The officers visit the Grenfell Towers scene, where 72 died (Jason Bye/MartisMedia)

Sgt Laurie acted as a medic at both incidents, overseeing the rescue effort and ensuring casualties were getting first aid.

He helped treat some very serious and traumatic injuries and was the last officer to leave Westminster Bridge, eight hours after the attack.

Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, met the trio at the National Police Memorial on the Mall.

Mr Marsh said: “This event provides an opportunity to remember all those who lost their lives and were injured in 2017 and the brave emergency services heroes who ran towards the danger.

“Of course, 2017 was a horrific year for terrorist attacks and significant tragedies in the capital.

“Our thoughts remain with all those affected. That includes all the first responders who will sadly carry some of the scenes they witness with them for many years to come.

“We must not forget our colleagues’ welfare and wellbeing. It is critical - and we would like to congratulate Darren, Darren and Mick for raising awareness of the mental health toll that policing can have on the brave men and women who wear the uniform.”

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