Retired cop joining this year’s Police Unity Tour team


PUBLISHED 17 Jun 2024

IN News

A retired Cambridgeshire Police officer will be joining the Force team taking part in this year’s Police Unity Tour to honour a fallen friend and colleague.

The sponsored bike ride raises awareness of officers killed in the line of duty and valuable funds for the Care of Police Survivors (COPS) charity that supports their families.

Retired Chief Inspector Keren Pope described the event as ‘really personal’ to her after Cambridgeshire PC Andreas (Andy) Newbery was killed while on duty in February 2003.

“Working out of the St Neots traffic office – as it was at the time – there were only seven of us, and Andy was killed while dealing with a collision on the A1(M) near Alconbury,” she said. 

“He lived in the same village where he was killed and is buried in that village, so it’s really personal.

“The Police Unity Tour really means a lot.”

She added: “The fact you are riding for a fallen colleague, whether it’s somebody you knew personally or from another Force it doesn’t matter, it’s an amazing event to be part of.”

The Police Unity Tour brings together police officers from all over the country. The cyclists start at their home force and finish at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire.

Keren continued: “It really shows officers in the best light. It’s the policing family coming together to support their own.

“In policing – but especially in roads policing – you see the utter devastation that the families go through when their loved one dies in a collision.

“And when you experience that as a friend of somebody, you realise how everyday officers are putting their lives on the line.

“You go to work and come home with a black eye because somebody has decided they didn’t want to be arrested and you have to explain that to your children.

“I was lucky enough that I did come home, but unfortunately there are those that don’t.”

This year’s tour starts on Friday 26 July. The route will take the team from Cambridgeshire Police headquarters in Huntingdon to Market Harborough in Leicestershire on day one, and then to Tamworth, Staffordshire on day two before finishing at the National Memorial Arboretum.

Having taken part in the ride twice already, Keren wanted to complete it a third time, and her knowledge of the route would help with her training.

Keren, who was working in counter-terrorism policing in the Easter Regions Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) when she retired last summer, said: “I’m now working full time again and with three children of my own, it’s not been easy trying to find the time to train.

“Where I live near Huntingdon, we have the steepest hill in Cambridgeshire, and we also have some rolling hills around here.

“I have found that we have one hill on the second day which is an absolute killer, but the hill training that I do sets me up for that.”

The Police Unity Tour is now in its 12th year and has raised more than £1.2 million to fund the invaluable peer support offered to families through COPS.

To take part this year, entrants have to register online and pay a £150 non-refundable registration fee which will offset the costs of two nights’ accommodation and a PUT cycling jersey.

COPS was founded in 2003 by retired Strathclyde police officer Jim McNulty and Christine Fulton (MBE) whose husband PC Lewis Fulton was murdered on duty in Glasgow in 1994.

COPS contacts the survivors of every officer who loses their life on duty, explaining what support the charity can offer and inviting them to get in touch if they need such support.

Find out more about COPS or register to ride today.

Retired Chief Inspector Keren Pope