A record number of cyclists joined the Police Unity Tour in honour of fallen officers in July

Zoë Wakefield, Federation Chair, has paid tribute to the many officers who cycled to Staffordshire to raise money and honour officers who have lost their lives on duty.

She said: “I am immensely proud of all the officers that took part. We joined with Thames Valley Police this year and we had a record number of survivors riding with us this year.

PC Dan Golding’s brother-in-law rode alongside other supporters, and Zoë rode 30 miles of the route and drove the support van for half of it.

She said: “Talking to the survivors, hearing what it is like for them is amazing. For them to put themselves out to train, to do this event, in memory of their own loved one, it’s just amazing. As tough as the cycling is, everyone remembers why they’re doing it, and there’s a real camaraderie amongst the cyclists. It’s just a brilliant event.

“We can never know how it feels to lose a loved one like that. But we can support them and we can ride with them, and everyone’s riding in memory of somebody that’s been lost. So I think it’s really lovely for all the families to know that their loved one hasn’t been forgotten, and that colleagues are willing to put a bit of hard graft in.”

Cyclists travel from their force area and end their journey at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, where a Service of Remembrance was held by COPS for their fallen friends and colleagues. This year, contributions from forces across England and Wales have made more than £160,000.

Planning has started for next year, with the option of beginning the route from the Isle of Wight.

Zoë said: “Somebody said to me, ‘Well you can’t cycle any further next year if you’ve started right on the south coast’, and I replied: ‘Actually we can. We could start on the Isle of Wight’. We’re really looking forward to next year already.”

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