A TEAM of police officers from across Dyfed-Powys Police will be cycling more than 200 miles from Brecon to Staffordshire, on Friday, July 26, in memory of their colleagues who have died in the line of duty.
Their journey will take them 100 miles on day one, over 80 miles on day two, and 20 on the final day, when they will finish at the National Memorial Arboretum. The last leg ends in time to coincide with a memorial service with the families of the officers they are honouring.
Assistant Chief Constable Vicki Evans is taking part for the first time this year, in what will be her longest ever sportive. She sees it as an opportunity to support the team and raise money for charity, while living the force’s family values.
“We are one big policing family, both here in Dyfed-Powys and across the UK. I wanted to take part in the Unity Tour to show my support for that, and for the families who have lost someone important.” Said Ms Evans.
“This will be the longest cycle I’ve ever done. So far I’ve racked up 55 miles at one time, and day one will double that! I have to admit I’m worried about reality of such a long first cycle and then carrying on. I’m expecting it to be painful, so I’m nervous but determined.
“I don’t want to let the team down – I want to be a good support not a hindrance. If nothing else, this is an opportunity for the team to laugh at the ACC.
“Every day police officers go to work to protect their community, and sadly, some don’t come home. It’s comforting to know that COPS is there to give support to families if the worst should happen. I’ll be keeping that in mind to spur me on through the hard times.”
The cyclists will be joined by officers from different forces as they progress on their open-road journey, with each riding in memory of a particular officer. There are 11 Dyfed-Powys Police officers on the role of honour.
PC Andy Smart has led the team for the past four years. He said: “The team has grown to encompass all of the Welsh forces in to a Welsh chapter, and we are going from strength to strength each year.
“The arrival at Drayton Manor on Saturday to meet the families, and in particular children, is very special and reinforces the reason we undertake the ride.
“On Sunday morning we will meet up with all of the other UK chapters and roll in to the Arboretum for a formal service with the families. We will hear family members recount their personal stories and explain what the Survivors Weekend and COPS means to them. It is a truly humbling experience.”
Care of Police Survivors (COPS) supports families and co-workers of police officers who have been killed while doing their job. The team has raised nearly £1500 for the charity so far and aims to raise £3000. If you would like to help them reach their target, you can donate via Just Giving by following the link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dyfed-powys-police-cyclists2019
Follow the team over the weekend by following @DPPTeam on Twitter.
For more information about the Unity Tour, visit: https://ukpoliceunitytour.org/