‘He was doing a job he loved... protecting people’

The old radar station at Fraser Range, Eastney Picture: Shaun Roster

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FLAGS were flown at half mast at police stations and a minute’s silence held to remember a police officer at the same time as his funeral took place.

PC Steve Rawson, who was based at Fareham police station, died while on duty when his motorbike collided with a car in Southampton on April 3.

He leaves his widow Kerry and two young children.

His funeral was held in a private service at Basingstoke Crematorium where mourners were asked by the family to wear Hawaiian shirts in honour of his sense of humour.

Hundreds of people from all over the country, including colleagues from police forces across the UK, have signed an online book of condolence, and thousands of pounds have been given in donations to a fund for his family.

At 2.45pm yesterday, officers and staff gathered together at police stations across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in a minute’s silence.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh, who was at the service, said: ‘Policing is a vocation that people are passionate about because it is about making a real difference to the communities we serve.

‘It also, thank goodness remains a job with a very strong sense of team, camaraderie, and occasionally fun.

‘Steve contributed all of these characteristics in huge measure. He was doing a job he loved that was incredibly important – protecting our communities from the most dangerous and organised of criminals.

‘This is vital work, often unseen by the public and I know that Steve enjoyed it immensely.

‘Without the work that Steve was such an important part of, the safety and very fabric of our communities would be under serious threat.

‘Steve’s colleagues all speak of him being a great person to have around the team, passionate, capable, with a strong sense of fun which undoubtedly helped keep people upbeat in a difficult job. ‘

Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes offered his ‘thought and prayers’ to the family, and added: ‘He was very much valued by members of his team and will be greatly missed by them and the constabulary as a whole.

‘His death has affected us all, and brought home the danger faced by officers in the course of their duty.

‘I hope his family may take some comfort from the great wave of support and condolence extended to them by the family that is Hampshire Constabulary.’

John Apter, chairman of Hampshire Police Federation, said: ‘The loss of Steve has knocked us all.

‘Many will say that the feeling of being part of the “police family” is a thing of the past but the reaction from officers, staff and the public across the country has shown this not to be the case.

‘PC Steve “Slim” Rawson will remain in our hearts and memory, he will never be forgotten.’