A minute’s silence has been observed at police stations across Hampshire for a Fareham-based policeman who died in a road accident.
PC Steve Rawson, 40, was on duty and riding an unmarked police motorcycle when he was in collision with a silver BMW outside a Shell petrol station in Southampton shortly after 2pm yesterday
He was taken to Southampton General Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.
The driver of the BMW, a 35-year-old man suffereded serious injuries and was taken to Southampton General Hospital for treatment.
Thomas Lewis Way was closed while collision investigators examined the scene.
Today the flag at Hampshire Constabulary Headquarters in Winchester was flying at half mast and officers at stations across the county held a minute’s silence at 11am as a mark of respect.
PC Rawson originally joined Hampshire Constabulary as a police staff controller in March, 1996 and worked at the Force Control Room, Netley, until 2003.
He became a PC on March 3, 2003, serving at Hedge End until for four years, undertaking several different roles as a uniform officer.
A Hampshire Police spokesman said: ‘Steve transferred as a PC to join the Hampshire Major Investigation Team in April 2007, where he was a valued member of the team contributing to multiple successful investigations.’
Detective Superintendent Dick Pearson, head of the Hampshire Major Investigation Team, said: ‘PC Rawson was an integral member of the Hampshire Major Investigation Team. He was a well respected, larger than life character who was dedicated to his job. He will be deeply missed by his all who knew him.’
Chief Constable Andy Marsh, said: ‘PC Rawson was a totally dedicated officer and larger than life character who always made a positive contribution to his team and to the force.
‘His death is a massive blow to the constabulary and his loss will be felt throughout the organisation.
‘We are supporting his wife and family and our thoughts are with them at this devastating time. He will be missed by all who knew him.
‘The response from the public has been overwhelming. We have had messages of condolence from across the country and from other organisations and we thank everybody for their support.’
The accident led to the busy Thomas Lewis Way in Swaythling being closed for more than six hours yesterday as investigators worked at the scene of the tragedy.
The Hampshire Isle of Wight Air Ambulance landed in the road to transport the injured officer to Southampton General Hospital, but he was declared dead on arrival.
Hampshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes said: ‘This is a very sad day for Hampshire Constabulary and a tragic loss of a police officer in the course of his duty.
‘This tragic incident highlights the fact that police officers regularly put themselves at risk in performing their duty and in protecting the public.
‘Our thoughts and sympathy go to his family and colleagues at this very difficult time.’
John Apter, chairman of Hampshire Police Federation, said: ‘Today is a sad day for the policing family.
‘The loss of our colleague has shocked and saddened us all.
‘Hampshire Police Federation will offer whatever support is required for the officer’s family and colleagues during this difficult time.’