‘take care of each other’, chief tells mourn­ing po­lice

South Wales Echo - - News - ANNA LEWIS Re­porter [email protected]­line.co.uk

HUN­DREDS of mourn­ing po­lice of­fi­cers were asked to “take care of each other” at the fu­neral of a de­tec­tive in­spec­tor who died on Christ­mas Eve.

More than 600 mem­bers of South Wales Po­lice lined the streets in a guard of hon­our on Fri­day to pay their re­spects to De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Terry Hop­kins.

A fa­ther of three, De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Hop­kins joined the 9/12th Royal Lancers aged 16 be­fore work­ing his way through the ranks at South Wales Po­lice.

His death, aged 40, has been met with an out­pour­ing of grief from the polic­ing com­mu­nity and mem­bers of the pub­lic, who have raised more than £14,000 for char­ity PTSD Res­o­lu­tion in his hon­our.

Dur­ing the cer­e­mony mem­bers of the force dressed in full uni­form stood in si­lence as the hearse, laden with white flow­ers and a po­lice cap, was es­corted by po­lice horses into Glyntaff cre­ma­to­rium in Pon­typridd.

With many un­able to find a seat in­side chapel, hun­dreds gath­ered in the cre­ma­to­rium court­yard to hear the ser­vice through speak­ers.

In a mov­ing speech, Chief Con­sta­ble Matt Jukes told mourn­ers he had vis­ited the di­vi­sions where DI Hop­kins had worked in Pon­typridd, Barry and Cardiff on New Year’s Eve to learn about the mem­o­ries col­leagues and mem­bers of the pub­lic had shared with him.

He said: “As a hus­band, son, brother and fa­ther, [DI Hop­kins] will be missed in ways I can’t imag­ine.

“In many ways I have got to know him bet­ter as a re­sult of the con­ver­sa­tions that have taken place since we lost him.”

Ris­ing to the rank of de­tec­tive only three years af­ter join­ing the po­lice force, DI Hop­kins had re­cently been in charge of a suc­cess­ful op­er­a­tion pro­tect­ing the el­derly from scam­mers.

But while he had been “loaned” to other di­vi­sions, col­leagues de­scribed how his “heart” had re­mained in his first base in Pon­typridd.

Af­ter thank­ing DI Hop­kins for his work, Chief Con­sta­ble Jukes told the con­gre­ga­tion: “It is okay not to be okay”.

Last week, friends and fam­ily wear­ing hats with the same phrase com­pleted a walk up Pen y Fan to re­mem­ber the in­spec­tor in one of his favourite places.

Chief Con­sta­ble Jukes said: “The work we do is hard, the chal­lenges are grow­ing, and life, as they say, is a con­tact sport.

“We need to be there for each other. “Terry’s life and pass­ing ab­so­lutely means some­thing. Per­haps Terry lives in an­other legacy in the way his death has brought our po­lice fam­ily even closer to­gether.

“I didn’t know him as many of you did, but know­ing what I did now I think I can ask some­thing on Terry’s be­half.

“I would ask that we all do all we can to take care of each other.”

Dur­ing the ser­vice, a spe­cial cer­e­mony was held to present DI Hop­kins’ po­lice and army cap to his son Oliver.

Speak­ing as a friend and col­league from the army and po­lice, Lee Porter asked col­leagues to re­mem­ber the 40-year-old for his smile, “pos­i­tive im­age” and ded­i­ca­tion to help­ing oth­ers. He said: “Terry served with com­pas­sion, ded­i­ca­tion and hu­mour.”

“He was firm, tena­cious, but fair. He was the first in line to pro­tect the pub­lic and the first in line to pro­tect his col­leagues.

“We must re­mem­ber the ab­so­lute joy Terry brought to us and the work he did.”

De­scribed as a “bril­liant” fa­ther to his chil­dren and hus­band to wife Leanne, DI Hop­kins was also re­mem­bered as a tal­ented boxer who had been coached by the late Enzo Calza­ghe.

Pay­ing trib­ute to a “cheeky” friend, Mr Porter re­counted how he had re­fused to re­main be­hind his desk, and had been in­volved in pur­su­ing stolen cars in the weeks be­fore his death.

Known for his com­pas­sion for fel­low po­lice of­fi­cers, vic­tims of crime and those in the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem, DI Hop­kins had also spoke of his anx­i­ety with younger staff mem­bers to help “share their load”.

Mr Porter said: “Strangely he would have loved to­day, not the cir­cum­stances, but the in­cred­i­ble hon­our you have shown him.

“If he was here to­day he would have a wink in his eye and be telling the odd joke.

“It is time now, Terry, to be stand up and be seen.

“Your shift is done.”

At the end of the ser­vice col­leagues were seen com­fort­ing each other and wip­ing away tears as Cat Steven’s ‘fa­ther and son’ was played - at the re­quest of DI Hop­kins’ son.

Any­one wish­ing to make a do­na­tion to PTSD Res­o­lu­tion can do so at: www.pts­dres­o­lu­tion.org

RICHARD WIL­LIAMS

Mourn­ers pay their last re­spects at the fu­neral of De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Terry Hop­kins at Glyntaff Cre­ma­to­rium

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