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Serving and retired officers from Northamptonshire Police will be getting on their bikes this summer to join colleagues from across the UK for this year’s Police Unity Tour charity cycle ride.
Twelve cyclists from the Force will be riding 180 miles from the National Police Memorial in central London to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire between July 30 and August 1.
This is the seventh year the event has been held in the UK, after last year’s cycle ride was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the annual fundraiser will once again be supporting Care of Police Survivors (COPS).
A charity close to the hearts of the participants, COPS is dedicated to helping the families of officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty, providing practical and emotional support to ensure they receive the help needed to rebuild their lives.
PC Rob Stevens is the Force’s ambassador for COPS and is a veteran of this event. This will be the fifth time he has taken part in the gruelling three-day cycling challenge.
He said: “It’s a challenging event both physically and mentally, but it’s also very satisfying to know we’ve raised money for such a worthwhile cause and in memory of some incredible officers.
“While we recognise the dangers of policing, nobody expects to die in the line of duty. When such a tragedy does occur, the charity aims to ensure the surviving family receives all the support and help they need and remain part of the wider police family.
“We all receive a blue memorial bracelet inscribed with the name of a fallen officer, which we wear in their memory during the ride before handing it over to a member of their family.
“It is always emotional to find out about the person you are honouring, however when you get to meet their family, regardless of how tough you think you are it gets very misty-eyed indeed.”
Making up the Northamptonshire Police team are Sergeants Simon Randall and Peter Ticehurst, PCs Lucy Sculthorpe, Ian Rudkin, Chris Howes, Mike Seuke and Nathaniel Foster and retired officers Steve Haycroft, Kevin Smith and Neil Cowley.
Following the service at The National Memorial Arboretum, the team will be joined by Northamptonshire Police Deputy Chief Constable Simon Nickless, to lay flowers at the base of the Force’s memorial tree.
If you would like to support any of the Team Northants cyclists, you can find their individual fundraising pages at www.justgiving.com
To find out more about the fantastic work of the COPS charity, please visit their website www.ukpoliceunitytour.org