Northamptonshire Police will be joining colleagues from across the UK this summer to pay tribute to those officers who have sadly lost their lives in service.
More than a thousand participants will descend on the Lake District to light up the Wainwright Peaks in June as part of the annual fundraising event for Care of Police Survivors (COPS).
Teams will climb to the top of each one of the 214 summits on Saturday, June 19 before lighting blue flares and holding them up to the sky at 3am in memory of colleagues who have died on duty during the past 12 months.
As a ticketed sporting event, Light the Lakes will conform to all the required rules and regulations as the UK continues along the Government’s road map out of the Covid-19 restrictions.
This has meant the 25-strong team which was due to represent the Force at last year’s event, which was cancelled due to the global pandemic, has been reduced to just four participants.
Representing the Force will be Exhibits and Disclosure Officer Richard Eady, Police Community Support Officer Stephanie Bacon, Detective Constable Mike Norris and Alex Hamilton, who works for a medical practice in the north of the county.
The quartet will be climbing Binsey Fell, which at 175m is one of the more modest peaks but what it lacks in height, it more than makes up in spectacular views of the Lake District, Solway Coast and Scotland.
Richard, who retired as a detective constable with the Force in February this year, said: “This event is always poignant as we remember our colleagues who have died in service, and this year will be no different.
“As a Force, we sadly lost some much-loved friends and colleagues over the past two years, who have left a huge hole in our policing family, and we will be raising our blue flare in their memory.
“I will also be paying a personal tribute to a former colleague, PC Keith Blakelock, who was murdered on the Broadwater Farm Estate during the Tottenham riots on October 6, 1985.
“At the time I was a serving officer with the Metropolitan Police, having only just completed my training in the June, and was also on duty on the night of the riots when Keith was killed. The sights and sounds of that night have never left me.”
Binsey Fell may be one of the modest peaks to climb, however it will still provide a massive challenge for the team as they will have to navigate some of the route in the cover of darkness.
Richard added: “Binsey Fell is in the north west corner of the Lake District and is separated from the rest of the Wainwright Peaks. Due to it being one of the lowest fells, we hope to get a first-class view of all the lights on top of the other summits and return with some fantastic images of the event.”
COPS is a charity dedicated to helping families of officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty, providing both practical and emotion support to ensure they have the help them need to rebuild their lives.