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Cycling team in charity mission

A team of Leicestershire Police officers have left Force Headquarters this morning to embark on a 180-mile cycle ride to the National Aboretum at Alrewas as part of the national Police Unity Tour.

They are using their pedal power to raise money for Care of Police Survivors (COPS), a charity offering support to the families of fallen officers, which is holding its annual remembrance service at the arboretum on Sunday morning.

Tiff Lynch, chairman of Leicestershire Police Federation, had planned to take part in the ride for the second year running but was forced to pull out just days before due to an injury.

"I am so disappointed not to be taking part," says Tiff, "While it was a tough ride last year, it was so worthwhile. Each cyclist wears a wristband bearing the name of a fallen officer and families are invited to attend the COPs event so the rider can present this to them at the end of the ride. It is really moving as you cycle into the arboretum at the end of the ride.

"While I won't be with the team of cyclists this year, I did go along to FHQ this morning to see them off and was also able to present the wristband I wore last year in memory of Nick Archer to his brother, Chris."

The Leicestershire team is made up of:

Support team:
Peter Williams, retired Leicestershire officer and Chapter leader, Mick Graham, Leicestershire officer,
Jed Keen, Leicestershire officer, Katie Coleman and Gail Simpson - retired Leicestershire officer.

Scott Askew, retired Gwent officer riding with Leicestershire, Leicestershire officer Mark Body,
Leicestershire officer Cara Guest-Moore, Leicestershire officer Neil Hinchliffe,
Leicestershire officer Chris Moore, son of fallen Leicestershire officer Brian Moore,
Leicestershire officer Laura Millward, Sarah Stables, Ian Waterfield, Leicestershire officer Jim Holyoak,
Leicestershire officer Jon Carter-Lang, retired Leicestershire officer Clive Sparling, Meryl Gibbins,
Leicestershire officer Nick Timms, Leicestershire officer Stephen Brown, Leicestershire officer Leah Brown,
Leicestershire officer Martin Leeland, Leicestershire officer Marie Collis, Sally Porch, Leicestershire officer Emma Gilbert, Leicestershire officer Ryan Coleman, Leicestershire officer Graeme Baxter, Leicestershire officer Mark Morris,
Leicestershire officer Johnny Monks, and Leicestershire officer Assistant Chief Constable Phil Kay.

Before the group set off, ACC Rob Nixon wished them a safe journey, pledging to join the riders for the 2018 tour, and Chris Moore spoke about his own journey with COPS and the support he and his family had received.

Sandie Burton and Sarah Moore, whose husbands both died while on duty with the Force, were also on hand to see the riders off this morning.