The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1994Prime Minister (1990-1997)

Mr Major’s Comments at Memorial for James Morrison – 22 April 1994

Below is the text of Mr Major’s comments at the unveiling of the memorial for Detective Constable James (Jim) Morrison, held on 22nd April 1994.


I am privileged to be here today to unveil this memorial to a young man of great courage.

You have heard from the Commissioner what kind of police officer Jim Morrison was. He proved his dedication by his courageous actions on 13th December 1991. Despite being off duty, he refused to let a dangerous criminal escape. Despite being threatened with a knife, he continued to chase his assailant.

Such people are rare. I didn’t know Jim Morrison but I know a great deal about him. One of his greatest strengths was his tenacious approach to crime investigation. He wished to serve his community in the best way he knew – in the finest traditions of the Police Service. He had an aptitude for detective work. He pursued his investigations with great enthusiasm.

Modern policing is a demanding and responsible service which requires professional commitment and courage. Jim Morrison displayed both qualities by accepting that, even when off duty, his first responsibility was to protect the public against crime whatever the threat to his own safety. It was that commitment and courage which Her Majesty the Queen honoured earlier this year with the posthumous award of the Queen’s Gallantry Medal. And I am honoured to pay my own tribute today.

We owe so much to police officers like Jim Morrison. Every day – up and down the country – thousands of police officers expose themselves to danger to protect the public. They do so willingly, with dedication and bravery. On behalf of us all, I offer my thanks to them.

Jim Morrison made the ultimate sacrifice. He knew the danger he faced, but he did not hesitate. He saw a dangerous criminal and he sought to arrest him. It was a brave act by a brave man.

But Jim Morrison was not only a dedicated police officer. He was a husband, a son and a brother. His friends and family will have their own memories of him and a special sense of loss. No words of mine can properly do him justice, but I know the police service lost a distinguished, dedicated and well liked officer. This memorial will, I hope, remind those who see it of the bravery, dedication and vulnerability of those at the forefront of upholding the law. With respect and gratitude I honour Jim with you today.