OFFICER DOWN – PC David Rathband

PC David Rathband 1968 – 2012

It is tragic to get up this morning and learn of the death of PC David Rathband whose life was irrevocably changed in July 2010 when he was shot and blinded in an unprovoked attack with a firearm.

He was found dead at his home in Northumberland last night and I’m sure everyone’s thoughts are with his family, his friends and his colleagues in Northumbria Police at the news of this tragedy for them.  I’m especially mindful of his children to whom it was clear he was devoted.

David’s actions in the immediate aftermath of being shot were heroic as he continued to do his job, not just to get himself urgent help but to start ‘policing’ the event despite horrendous injuries.

I defy anyone to suffer such a life altering event without suffering massive personal costs, of various kinds; and we know that officers are at far greater risk than most of suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), depression and other mental health problems as a result of their job – far more about that at a much more appropriate time.

Although it was a rare and extreme case, this shows how vulnerable police officers are in the aftermath of serious events at work and so I ask again: Who is protecting the protectors?

This is so very, very sad and our thoughts today should be with David’s family, friends and colleagues.

Winner of the President’s Medal,
the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Winner of the Mind Digital Media Award


All views expressed are my own – they do not represent the views of any organisation.
(c) Michael Brown, 2012

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9 thoughts on “OFFICER DOWN – PC David Rathband

  1. A very very sad day. May he now rest in peace. A tragic example of how vulnerable us emergency services staff can me. Stay safe out there.

  2. My thoughts are certainly with him and his family. What an utter tragedy. Murdered by Roat as sure as any of those who died in July 2010. Terribly, terribly sad. I know many Police Officers and am indebted to them for the sacrifices they make that we may be safe and comfortable in our beds.

    May he Rest in Peace.

  3. so sad, what courage and strength he has shown since that day. thoughts with his family, friends and colleagues.

  4. So beautifully put and right to demand who gets the protection, all our emergency services get offered some forms of help but is it enough, especially when things linked so directly to their line of duty can have such devastating effects; physical, personal, mental and emotional

  5. No one is protecting the Protectors, least of all the Forces, it needs people like you to draw attention to the fact that Forces have to provide continual support to Heroes like PC David Rathband. He helped others, let us all ensure The Blue Lamp Foundation continues. And Mental Heath Cop receives the backing in drawing attention to the need for support to all officers suffering stress due to the job.

    Rest in Peace PC David Rathband He lived, he inspired, He Smiled, let’s feel happy as well as sad when we remember him. XXX

  6. Where are the days of Dixon of Dock Green?
    This is a tragedy for PC Rathband and his family.
    Where is the COMMUNITY in all of this?
    It is policing by CONSENT which happened in the days of old – people respected one another and the country was a kinder, fairer society.
    Cry the beloved country.

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