Met Police Commissioner Marks 35th Anniversary Of PC Yvonne Fletcher’s Murder

Cressida Dick, the Met Police Commissioner, has paid tribute to PC Yvonne Fletcher 35 years after she was murdered in cold blood.

Commissioner Cressida Dick said: 

“I was a young officer in the Met 35 years ago when Yvonne was shot.

“In 1984 I worked from West End Central – just half a mile from St James’ Square.

“That terrible event shook all of us who were in the Met at that time.

“All these years later there may be fewer people who directly experienced the impact of those events still in the Met, but as a police family we still collectively feel her loss.

“Today we mark her death and remember the contribution she made as a valued colleague and as a police woman, dedicated to the public, and we think of her family.”

A statement released by the Met Police said:

‘As a police officer you expect your job to be unpredictable.

‘You value the absolute privilege of helping the vulnerable and keeping the public safe.

‘You see the darkest sides of people, the damage they do to each other and those experiences are lodged with you, driving you to follow every lead to find the evidence to get dangerous offenders off our streets.

‘You keep your fitness training up, knowing it will help you as you take on dangerous situations, as others run from it.

‘You know all this yet you never expect that one day you’ll go to a job and won’t come home’.

PC Fletcher was a young female officer who was deployed to monitor a demonstration outside the Libyan People’s Bureau.

Policing demonstrations wasn’t unusual, it was one of approximately 400 held in London each year. It should have been a routine task. Tragically that wasn’t to be.

25-year-old PC Fletcher was observing the demonstration when just after 10.15 in the morning a number of shots were fired from an automatic weapon.

The shots were fired from within the bureau, shooting WPC Fletcher in the back.

Without thought for their own safety fellow officers ran to her assistance as she lay on the ground and despite their efforts, she died a short time later at Westminster Hospital.

WPC Yvonne Fletcher was murdered in an act of state sponsored terrorism.

Shot in broad daylight her death evoked a powerful reaction from both the public and officers at the time.

35 years later, and as we mark 100 years since the first women joined the Met as officers and significant contribution they have made, her death is as poignant today.

Every year, on the anniversary of her murder the Commissioner visits her memorial in St James Square and lays a wreath to remember and pay tribute to WPC Yvonne Fletcher.

Yvonne Joyce Fletcher was born on 15 June 1958 in the Wiltshire village of Semley, to Michael Fletcher and his wife Queenie.

Yvonne was the eldest of the couple’s four daughters.

At the age of three she told her parents that she wanted to join the police.

By the time she was eighteen and a half—the minimum entry age into the Metropolitan Police Service—she was 5 feet 2.5 inches (1.59 m) tall, shorter than the 5 feet 4 inches (1.63 m) required.

She applied to several police forces but was turned down on the basis of her height, and considered applying for entry to the Royal Hong Kong Police Force.

Despite the height restriction, in March 1977 Fletcher was accepted onto the Metropolitan Police 20-week training course.

She passed and was placed on the standard two-year probation period with the warrant number 4257; she was posted to Bow Street police station, where she completed her probation and was confirmed as a regular Woman Police Constable (WPC).

She was highly regarded by her colleagues, who nicknamed her “Super Fletch”, and she became engaged to PC Michael Liddle, who also worked at Bow Street.

The hunt for PC Fletcher’s murderer(s) is still ongoing with a spokesperson for the Met confirming:

‘The investigation into her murder remains open and we are absolutely committed to bringing justice to her and her family’.

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