A troop of determined riders from Leicestershire Police, have set off on a 180 cycling challenge to raise funds for COPS – a charity which is dedicated to helping the families of police officers who have lost their lives on duty.
Earlier this morning (Friday, August 19), 14 riders set off on Leicestershire Police’s tenth Police Unity Tour, which will see them make their way from Nottinghamshire Police headquarters to the National Police Memorial in Alrewas Staffordshire.
The team, which is being led by Rob Nixon, acting chief constable of Leicestershire Police, are due to arrive at the destination on Sunday (August 21), where they’ll meet with hundreds of other officers from the 43 Forces around the country.
Today, the group will complete a total of 80 miles, taking them through Derbyshire and onto the Leicestershire Police headquarters.
“I’m very proud of people that get involved from Leicestershire,” Mr Nixon told the Leicester Times.
“We’re on day one, we’re going to go and do 80 miles and some of that is going to be extremely hilly. The advice that is often given to us is ‘push/pull’ – basically dig in, keep going and get through the pain barrier.”
Asked about the importance of the Police Unity Tour, Mr Nixon said: “For those that are in the Force, it’s very much about taking a moment to reflect and honour and pay tribute to those that have lost their lives.
“For those that aren’t in policing, I think it’s a fantastic lens on just how policing comes together, and that we don’t forget those that have lost their lives. But of course also it’s an opportunity for people to donate, and for the COPS charity to raise essential funds.”
One of the event’s sponsors is Pukaar Group. The company’s founder Romail Gulzar is also taking part in the ambitious challenge in memory of his friend, former Chief Constable Simon Cole, who passed away earlier this year.
COPS (Care of Police survivors) is independent of the police service and was founded in March 2003 by Jim McNulty and Christine Fulton (MBE). Jim was a retired police officer from Strathclyde Police. Christine is the widow of PC Lewis Fulton who was murdered on duty in Glasgow in 1994.
Christine’s experience of that tragedy gave her a unique understanding of the overwhelming grief and confusion that is encountered by new survivors. COPS makes contact with the survivors of every officer who loses their life on duty, explaining what COPS does and inviting them to make contact when they are ready for such support.
To find out more, visit: https://ukcops.org/