Water bottle tributes left for police inspector killed in crash

Touching water bottles tributes were left at the scene where a "gentleman" police inspector was killed in a crash.

Graeme Rooney was out cycling with friends when he was involved in a collision with a Ford Transit van on Causeway Lane, Altcar, on Tuesday evening.

The 51-year-old, a community inspector for Merseyside Police in North Liverpool, died a short time later at Aintree hospital.

Heartbreaking messages have flooded in for the popular and dedicated police officer along with stunning tributes left at the scene of the crash.

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One bottle, left beside a stunning floral tribute, said: "Graeme Rooney, taken too soon, RIP mate."

Another said: "RIP Graeme, sleep well."

Chief Constable Andy Cooke also paid tribute to Mr Rooney on behalf of the force.

In a lengthy statement, he said: "Following the sudden and tragic death of Inspector Graeme Rooney on Tuesday evening I wanted to take time out to pay tribute to an officer who was respected across the board and served the force impeccably for more than 27 years.

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Inspector Graeme Rooney of Merseyside Police

“Graeme was out cycling with friends in Altcar when he was involved in a road traffic collision with a transit van and sadly he died as a result of his injuries. An investigation in to the collision is now being carried out by Lancashire Police.

“Many of you will have heard the phrase 'an officer and a gentleman', and this sums Graeme up perfectly.

"He was a proud, family man and anyone who knew him will know that he was a committed and professional officer who just got on with the job.

"He was a Merseyside Police officer through and through, he loved working the football and big events, was part of the Bronze rota and recently joined the negotiator team.

Flowers and water bottles at the scene on the Causeway.

“At Walton Lane where he had been the Community Inspector for more than three years, he was a popular officer who earned the trust and support, not only of his staff and partners, but also of the local community he served."

Graeme was described as having a "huge passion" for his job and is credited for inspiring his officers in North Liverpool.

During his career Graeme received a Superintendent's Commendation for professionalism, initiative and courage in effecting the arrest and conviction of a male in possession of a loaded firearm.

Andy Cooke added: "“I have no doubt that this tragic loss will be felt widely across the force by those who worked with Graeme, knew him and became his friends.

Family paid tribute to Graeme Rooney, Merseyside Police inspector killed in cycle crash

"Graeme was very much a family man and was extremely proud of his two sons.

“Our thoughts are very much with his wife, his sons, family and friends at this sad time.”

On Thursday, Graeme's heartbroken family also paid tribute to the much-loved husband and dad.

In a statement issued through Lancashire Police, they said: "Graeme was much loved by his wife and children, extended family friends and colleagues. He will be sadly missed by all.

Flowers and water bottles at the scene on he Causeway,Altcar.

“Graeme was a well-respected Merseyside Police Inspector who served the community for 27 years.

"The family would appreciate privacy at this difficult time.”

Describing himself on his LinkedIn page, Inspector Rooney stated his commitment to improving people's lives by working together with others.

He wrote: "I have a passion for partnership working, no one organisation will change the life chances for communities on their own, but we may just have a chance if we work together."

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Sgt Steve Hardman, of the Lancashire Police Tactical Ops team, said: “We would like to send our deepest condolences to Graeme’s family and friends.

“We would continue to appeal for anyone who witnessed the collision and has not yet spoken to police to get in touch.

"Similarly, if you have dashcam footage showing the collision, or if you saw either the van or the bike involved in the moments before it happened, please get in touch.”

Politicians also added their condolences after the officer's tragic death.

Walton MP Dan Carden said: "I am deeply saddened by the death of Inspector Rooney, my sincere condolences go to his family. Graeme worked closely with me and my staff to build community relations across Walton. He was a kind, decent person and dedicated public servant."

And West Derby MP Ian Byrne said: "The untimely and tragic death of Inspector Rooney will leave a huge hole in the fabric of North Liverpool. He was a brilliant example of a community policeman and a thoroughly decent man who cared about the people he served with and for. It was my privilege to know him and work with him in our community."

"My sincere condolences go to his wife and boys."

Anybody with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting log number 1405 of Tuesday, June 2.