A North East police officer and former soldier who died unexpectedly while driving home has been remembered at a national memorial event.

PC Neil Pattinson was honoured at this year’s National Police Memorial Day, which took place in Cardiff on Sunday (September 24) and saw thousands pay their respects to the fallen PC and other UK colleagues who have died this year.

The Northumbria Police officer, who previously served in the Coldstream Guards and West Yorkshire Police, died on February 27 of this year while driving home after finishing a shift. 

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PC Pattinson was a response officer and was an active Public Order Tactical Advisor, who was called upon to provide advice at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.

Tributes to PC Pattinson were made shortly after his death by colleagues at Northumbria Police Federation - with Jim Gray, chair of the regional Federation, saying that his loss had left a "void" in his family at home and in the police.

He said: “PC Neil Pattinson was a highly regarded Northumbrian Police Officer. Prior to joining Northumbria Police, he served in the Coldstream Guards and in West Yorkshire Police.

The Northern Echo: PC Neil PattinsonPC Neil Pattinson (Image: NORTHUMBRIA POLICE FEDERATION)

“Neil’s passing has not only left a huge void for his family, whom we again pass our deepest condolences to but also for the many colleagues who loved and respected him.”

Following his death, his details were added to the Police Roll of Honour.

Mr Gray was also at the National Police Memorial Day, and said: “To attend this service, which remembers the ultimate sacrifice paid by so many of our colleagues across the country, is an absolute honour.

The Northern Echo: National Police Memorial DayNational Police Memorial Day (Image: POLICE ENGLAND)

"We should all always remember the price that some of our colleagues have paid to both serve the crown and protect the public.”

Deputy Chief Constable of Northumbria Police, Debbie Ford, also gave condolence to the Pattinson family - and highlighted the "honour" she had of attending the event and paying tribute to PC Pattinson. 

She added: "Obviously it’s a pleasure to be here. A real privilege to celebrate and recognise those officers and staff who’ve lost their lives in the course of duty and in service, and obviously specifically here today with Neil Pattinson’s family. We lost Neil in February.

“As the Deputy Chief Constable representing Northumbria, it’s a real privilege to be here to be able to be here with the family and celebrate Neil’s life, and all the staff and officers, nationally, who’ve lost their lives.

“It goes without saying that this is a job of service. It’s what we do. But every day you go out there, you put your life on the line for the public, and I think it’s really important that we all get together at this annual event and celebrate that, and recognise the service that people have given, and those who have lost their lives.”

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During the National  Police Memorial Day, PC Pattinson's name was read out alongside PCSO Daniel Gower, of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary; Sgt Steven Creal, of Sussex Police; PC Richard Kemp, of Lancashire Constabulary; PC Bruce Lister, of Hertfordshire Constabulary; PC Andrew Boardman, of West Mercia Police; Insp Gareth Earp, of Dyfed-Powys Police; and Sgt Graham Saville, of Nottinghamshire Police.

They had all died during the last year.

There was also silence as petals of remembrance, representing all who have lost their lives, descended from the gallery as the Last Post was sounded.