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Posted by: John Brace | 24th May 2016

PC David Phillips, killed in the line of duty, awarded Freedom of the Borough by Wirral’s councillors at emotional meeting

PC David Phillips, killed in the line of duty, awarded Freedom of the Borough by Wirral’s councillors at emotional meeting

                                         

Video above is of the public meeting of Wirral Council held on the 20th May 2016 to award the Freedom of the Borough posthumously to PC David Phillips.

Mayor and Mayoress of Wirral presenting a Freedom of Borough award for PC David Phillips posthumously at the Extraordinary Council meeting of Wirral Council held on the 20th May 2016

Mayor and Mayoress of Wirral presenting a Freedom of Borough award for PC David Phillips posthumously at the Extraordinary Council meeting of Wirral Council held on the 20th May 2016

The highest honour Wirral Council can bestow on a Wirral citizen is called Freedom of the Borough. Wirral Council councillors decided last Friday evening to give this award posthumously to PC David Phillips and make him an Honorary Freeman of the Borough.

Last year PC David Phillips had been trying to stop two burglars who were fleeing the scene of their crimes in a stolen red Mitsubishi pick up truck. The truck was being chased at high-speed through the Wirral streets at night by police cars.

He had put a ‘stop stick’ (used to burst a vehicle’s tyres) across the Wallasey Dock Road in Seacombe and was waiting for the truck to go over the ‘stop stick’ to bring the high-speed chase to an abrupt halt.

The fleeing burglar avoided the ‘stop stick’ across the road by crashing the vehicle into PC David Phillips. PC David Phillips was struck by the front of the Mitsubishi pick up truck and his colleague PC Thomas Birkett jumped out-of-the-way. PC David Phillips then tragically died of his injuries. The driver, who didn’t stop at the scene was later convicted in Manchester Crown Court of manslaughter and sentenced to twenty years. He was also banned from driving for three years.

PC David Phillips left behind a wife and two young daughters.

The Bishop of Birkenhead Rt Reverend Keith Sinclair started the meeting with a prayer.

After apologies were given for councillors who couldn’t make it to the meeting, the Mayor of Wirral asked for a round of applause for the police band, who had been playing before the meeting started in the lobby to Wallasey Town Hall.

The Mayor of Wirral Cllr Pat Hackett explained the background to why the award was being considered. Leader of the Labour Group Cllr Phil Davies nominated the motion to award Freedom of the Borough to PC David Phillips.

Leader of the Conservative Group Cllr Jeff Green and Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group Cllr Phil Gilchrist jointly seconded the nomination and both spoke in favour of granting the award to PC David Phillips.

PC Phillips’ father Robin Phillips spoke about how honoured and proud the family was that he was nominated for this award and described the goodwill his family had received following PC Dave Phillip’s death.

Sir Jon Murphy QPM (Chief Constable for Merseyside Police) described it as a “wonderful honour”.

Cllr Lesley Rennie (a former police officer) in an emotional speech spoke of the culture in the police force and how he would not be forgotten.

The scroll and mounted award was then presented to PC Phillips’ widow and children by the Mayor & Mayoress. A second duplicate mounted award was then presented by the Mayor and Mayoress to PC Phillip’s father Robin.

The Mayor of Wirral Cllr Pat Hackett and before ending the meeting thanked all those who had attended.

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Responses

  1. A wonderful gesture to this good man and his family. Every so often a Council manage to get something just right and this decision is an example of them getting something very right for the family and the people of the Wirral.
    Wonderful!

    • Thanks for your comment bobby47.

      Yes I agree with you that it was a good gesture. However as PC David Phillips died in October 2015, it took less time to put his killer on trial and sentence him than the local Council took to arrange this!

      PC David Phillips was only 34 (around the same age I am), so it brings home to me how fragile life can be (and how I’m glad I didn’t pick a more dangerous occupation).

      P.S. I think considering the reaction of the people of Wirral about this in the circumstances this was the least Wirral Council could do.

  2. I still can’t believe the shit who killed him only got 20 years for manslaughter, he will be out in 5 or 6 years, he drove at PC Phillips so that makes it cold blooded murder, and then to be banned for driving for 3 years, what an arse are laws are!
    I think the Council should put a statue up where this brave guy died!

    • The jury rejected the murder charge as you can read in the Crown Prosecution Service press release.

      So that decision of not guilty on the murder charge was made by the twelve on the jury.

      I that agree being banned from driving when the prison term’s longer than the driving ban. After all you’re hardly likely to be driving while in prison so it seems a bit of a nonsensical arrangement doesn’t it?


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