NORTH East politicians yesterday paid tribute to PC David Rathband and a debate in Parliament was called for to ensure injured officers receive sufficient support.
In the Commons, Hexham MP Guy Opperman said: “He was an outstanding Northumbria police constable and I know I speak for all local North East colleagues when I say that this brave man will be sorely missed.”
A Commons debate was called for on the help offered to wounded police officers and Mr Opperman said it would be a “very good idea”.
He added: “I hope that the Government will look at ways in which police officers suffering from traumatic disorders and severe injuries are looked after.
“Successive Governments are doing better in looking after our troops who suffer in such disasters. Similar things need to be done for police officers who face similar terrible situations.”
Dave Anderson, Labour MP for Blaydon, said: “The news is deeply saddening. His life was ruined by Moat and sadly David Rathband can be added to the list of those murdered by Moat.”
He also backed a Parliamentary debate on support for injured officers, saying: “I think it is a serious issue that ought to be in the main chamber in Government time.
“It is a really important issue and it is about showing respect to people who look after us.”
Gateshead MP Ian Mearns said: “Words are never enough in these circumstances. I was saddened to hear this tragic news and I hope that the sympathy of the local community and the nation will help to reduce the grief of David Rathband’s loved ones.”
The Labour MP added PC Rathband’s family should be supported and that once the circumstances had been fully investigated, MPs could then potentially look at assistance for officers.
PC Rathband’s local MP, Ronnie Campbell, said the tragic officer was “another victim of horrific gun crime”.
Mr Campbell, who wrote to the officer expressing his sympathy and support following his shooting by Moat, said: “It is always very sad when people get to the stage where they feel they have to do something like this, and my sympathies go out to his family.
David Cameron said it was important that those injured while serving in the line of duty get the care they need.
He said: “I met David. He was an extraordinarily brave man, and after his horrific injuries he did an enormous amount for charities and for other injured police officers, and families who had lost police officers in the line of duty.
“He was a very, very brave man and I’m extremely sad about what’s happened.
“Of course we have to do everything we can as a country to make sure that those who are wounded or fall in the line of duty, that their families are properly looked after and that they’re properly commemorated and we must make sure that’s the case in this case too.”