19 July 2023
Preparations for this year’s Police Unity Tour bike ride are well and truly underway with the Derbyshire Police team in fine fettle for the 200-mile challenge.
Riders will set off from Force HQ on Friday 28 July and reach the finish line on Sunday 30 July at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffs, where a service of remembrance for fallen friends and colleagues will take place.
The annual event raises funds for Care of Police Survivors (COPS), the UK-wide charity which is dedicated to helping the families of police officers and staff who have lost their lives on duty.
Each cyclist will be wearing a wristband specifically dedicated to a fallen officer which is traditionally presented to family members of those officers at the end of the ride.
The Derbyshire riders will join hundreds of officers representing police forces from across the country for the ride which was first held back in 1997 as a low-key fund-raiser but has grown into a major international event and is now one of the key dates in the policing calendar.
Charity riders taking part in last year's PUT ride
Serving and retired police officers and Specials can take part in the event and participants talk about the extraordinary camaraderie between fellow riders and the lifelong friendships that have been forged in the saddle.
Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton said: “The Police Unity Tour has become one of the highlights of the policing year and another event which makes us proud to be part of the police family.
“Those who have taken part have described it as joyous, emotional, exhausting and poignant but no one has ever told me they regret signing up for it. It is certainly very moving to witness the support the families give to each other when they get together.
“Above all the event is about commemorating fallen officers and supporting the families of police officers and staff who made the ultimate sacrifice. Remembering mums, dads, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters who left for work and didn’t come home.
“The COPS service on the Sunday morning is always an emotional experience for the cyclists, the families and their guests and gives everyone the chance to catch up. I’m very much looking forward to once again being there to represent Derbyshire officers and support the riders, survivors and the charity.”