LONDON – Police have been branded “the most hated” people in Britain after a gunman killed a policeman during a routine patrol in south London.
The murder of Constables Keith Woodhouse and David Thomas, of the Metropolitan Police’s Southwark division, sparked protests across the country.
But a BBC investigation has shown that many British police officers are not as “hated” as they appear.
The officer has been hailed as a “true hero” by supporters who say he had made the ultimate sacrifice in defending innocent people.
The attack in Southwark, south London, came as a video was released on social media showing a man brandishing an AR-15 rifle and firing a shot into a crowd in the city centre.
It was uploaded to YouTube by a man named “Black Jack” who claimed to be the son of a slain police officer.
In a statement, Southwark Police said: “Keith and David Woodhouse have served our communities well and they will be sorely missed by the community.”
We will continue to work with our community and local community leaders to provide support and reassurance.
“The attack happened on July 27, but police said it was the “first time” that a member of the public had been killed by a member or employee of the force.
The police officer was on duty when the attack took place and was taken to hospital.”
He was a man of outstanding integrity, compassion and bravery and the police have all the sympathy they need to know that he will be remembered as such,” a statement from Southwark said.
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement that the officer was an “excellent colleague” who “played an essential role” during a “frightening and difficult period” for the force and the wider community.
He is survived by his wife, daughter and grandchildren.