The memorial, which is set to be open in spring 2021, will commemorate those police officers and staff killed on duty across the UK since the formation of the Bow Street Runners in 1749.
Work starts today and the start of the build will be marked with a ground-breaking event – where the earth will be broken by the fathers of PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes, two Greater Manchester Police officers who were killed on duty in September 2012.
Sir Hugh Orde, chairman of trustees, said: "The National Memorial Arboretum is the place where all our services are remembered throughout the year. A place where people come for quiet acts of contemplation and reflection and a place where large scale acts of remembrance take place.
"Yet there is no fitting tribute here that honours those brave men and women from our police service who have given their lives to protect us all. A tribute that is in keeping with the scale of loss that our police service has suffered over the years. Today is the day that we change that.
“How fitting that today’s ground-breaking will be carried out by Paul Bone and Bryn Hughes, whose daughters were shot and killed whilst responding to a routine 999 call, eight years ago.
“When we set out on this ambitious project in 2015 we had no idea how challenging it would be. Along the way we have overcome many hurdles and setbacks. But after five years of determination, amazing support and dedicated fundraising we have finally reached the position where construction of the new UK Police Memorial can start.
“We have only been able to reach this point thanks to the generosity of individual benefactors, businesses, grant makers, government, police forces, staff associations and the wider public. I and my fellow trustees are so grateful for all the support and tremendous fundraising that has taken place.”
The new UK Police Memorial has been designed by Walter Jack. It has been created for both personal acts of reflection by family and friends, and major ceremonial events, with lawn space for 1,500 people.
Construction work will take place during this year and will be completed by the end of 2020. The memorial will be dedicated and open to the public by spring 2021.
For more information, visit www.ukpolicememorial.org.