A group of North Wales Police officers and staff are taking part in a 200-mile charity bike ride this weekend raising money for COPS (Care of Police Survivors).

From today, Friday, 28 July, until Sunday, 30 July, 19 members of North Wales Police – including Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman - will be cycling and supporting the route from Aberystwyth to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire as part of the 2023 COPS annual ‘UK Police Unity Tour’ ride.

COPS is a UK registered charity dedicated to helping the families of police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. They aim to ensure to ensure that survivors have all the help they need to cope with such a tragedy, and that they remain part of the police family as they rebuild their lives.

The Police Unity Tour began in New Jersey, United States in 1997 to raise awareness for officers killed in the line of duty, honour their sacrifices and raise funds for families.

Temporary Superintendent Owain Llewellyn, who is facilitating North Wales Police’ involvement in this year’s tour said: “COPS is a fantastic charity that provides so much support to families of fallen officers.

“Cycling this tour is a way for us to all remember those fallen officers, and once again we’re looking forward in taking part and helping to raise money for a very worthwhile charity.

“Each rider will be issued a memorial bracelet inscribed with the name and information of a police officer who died in the line of duty, which we will carry to the finish line.

“The ride itself consists of approximately 200 miles over a testing route and will be completed over three days and is intended to be difficult for sombre reflection of the ultimate sacrifice given by our fallen colleagues. We’ll be joined by police forces from all over the UK and we will ride together to the National Police Arboretum in Staffordshire for a Memorial Service.

T/Supt Llewellyn added: “A number of fundraising events have been held including a cake sale and raffle and we’d like to thank everyone who has contributed so far. We are grateful for any donation – big or small, which can be given via our Just Giving page. Please support us if you can.”

The teams will also be supported by the North Wales Police Federation Welfare Van.

North Wales Police Federation General Secretary and Treasurer, Mark Jones said: “The Police Unity Tour is an event which makes us proud to be part of the police family. 

“The COPS service on the Sunday morning is always an emotional experience for the cyclists, support teams, families and their guests and gives everyone the chance to catch up. I’m very much looking forward to being there to represent North Wales Police and support the riders, survivors and the charity.”

North Wales Police Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman said: “The COPS charity is extremely close to my heart and it is always a real honour to take part in this event.

“The work that COPS do is absolutely essential, and whilst nobody should ever have to use their services, the sad fact is that they are required. It is an absolute privilege to collectively ride in memory of our fallen colleagues, to show that we, as a police service, will never forget their sacrifice.”


The itinerary

 Day 1: Thursday, 27 July - The four Welsh forces travelled to Aberystwyth – approx. 100 miles for those travelling from North Wales.

Day 2: Friday, 28 July (official start of the Unity Tour) - The Welsh chapter will travel from Aberystwyth via Rhayader, Ludlow and Telford – approx. 100 miles.

 Day 3: Saturday, 29 July - Travel from Telford via Stone to Tamworth – approx. 63 miles

Day 4: Sunday, 30 July - Travel from Tamworth to the National Memorial Arboretum – approx. 15 miles.

Those wishing to donate to the cause can do so via Team NWP is fundraising for Care of Police Survivors (justgiving.com)

Social media users can follow the North Wales riders by following the #UKPUT #NWPUnityTourRide23 and #WeRideForThoseWhoDied hashtags via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Further information regarding the tour is available via the website https://ukpoliceunitytour.org/