Message from Cumbria Constabulary Chief Constable Craig Mackey:
“It is with deep sadness that I can confirm that the body found on a beach at Allonby this afternoon is that of our friend and colleague PC Bill Barker.
“Over the last few days Cumbria has faced some of the most severe weather conditions ever and Bill was amongst the hundreds of officers and staff dedicated to rescuing local people and ensuring the safety of our communities. He was directing motorists safely off Northside Bridge, saving lives, when the tragic incident occurred.
” Bill was a wonderful police officer and a real family man. He leaves behind a wife and four children in their home in Egremont- two boys and two girls – aged between 8 and 16. He was due to to celebrate his 45th birthday tomorrow. Bill is a hero who died saving the lives of others and our thoughts are with his family at this devastating time. He was a much loved friend, colleague and an inspiration to everyone he knew – he will be sadly missed.
“His friends say he loved being a Police officer and, a passionate biker, he was part of the Constabulary’s dedicated Roads Policing Unit. He was a sterling officer and had won a number of awards throughout his 25 year service with Cumbria Constabulary.
“Whilst this is an extremely difficult time for everyone involved in the rescue operation, our officers and staff continue to work valiently to ensure the public remains safe.”
PC Barker’s wife, Hazel, has offered the following moving tribute:
“How do you put into words how you feel about somebody you are so proud of? Bill was my best friend, my forever friend, and an amazing dad. Even when he was exhausted from work he would always take time out for the kids.
“I have the comfort of knowing that Bill died doing the job he loved and the fact that he was helping others is just typical Bill.
“I’d now ask that the media respect the family’s privacy at this time and leave us to grieve in peace.”
Anyone who wishes to pay tribute to Bill can do so online by logging on to www.facebook.com/cumbriapolice.
The above photograph is of PC Bill Barker receiving a long service and good conduct medal after 22 years service. This award was presented to him by Chief Constable Craig Mackey.
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