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Sergeant Amy Hunter

The officer who made a connection with a colleague killed on duty, and who has made sure he will never be forgotten.

If you work for the police, your collar number is more than just a number.  It’s personal.  It’s the thing that identifies you to your colleagues, and to members of the public.  As an officer you wear it on your uniform.  It’s with you throughout your career with the Force, and then the number may be given to someone else.

Most police personnel don’t know who held their collar number before them.  But one who does, is Sergeant Amy Hunter in Selby.

Last year, Amy’s Inspector let her know that he’d been looking at some old items on a display table in the station and had noticed they related to an officer who had had the same collar number as Amy.   Amy was intrigued and started to look into the matter.  The officer was DC Norman Garnham and, as she delved into the story, Amy discovered that he was tragically murdered on duty back in 1977, whilst trying to arrest a suspect for assault in Richmond.

Speaking about this discovery Amy says, “Because we shared a collar number I felt a connection with DC Garnham, and it was really upsetting to think that this had happened to him and I hadn’t even known.  I have lost a colleague on duty and there is such pain and sadness.  I felt a sense of responsibility to Norman’s memory, and although he is named in NYP’s memorial garden at our HQ, I wanted to do something to make sure that his sacrifice in the line of duty would always be publicly remembered.”

At first, very little information about Norman could be discovered, but Amy was tenacious.  Having found out what details she could, she made contact with the Police memorial Trust and negotiated with them and Richmond Council to erect a memorial stone for Norman in Richmond.

She also worked with retired officers from the National Association of Retired Police Officers, who helped her to trace a next of kin – his sister, Mrs Jean Thompson.  Through Amy’s efforts Mrs Thompson was invited to attend the National Police Memorial Event in Ireland, as well as North Yorkshire Police’s annual memorial service.

Working on this campaign in her own time whilst on maternity leave, Sergeant Amy Hunter’s efforts will soon come to fruition, as the last memorial to DC Garnham will be officially unveiled in Richmond on 21 September.  It’s in a contemplative spot in a quiet courtyard, with a bench and a magnolia tree.  A place to reflect on those, like DC Hunter, who put themselves in harm’s way to keep the community safe.

Says Amy, “I am very humbled by the fact I’ve been nominated for an Award.  I did this project because it seemed the right thing to do – I just wanted recognition for DC Norman Garnham, and to see his memory honoured.  I’m proud I could do this for the officer whose collar number I share.”