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Cyclist to ride 180 miles in memory of Ilford police officer killed in the line of duty

PUBLISHED: 12:32 12 July 2017 | UPDATED: 12:32 12 July 2017

Peter Bennett who helped create the Police Unity Tour which sees officers ride 180 miles to the national police memorial

Peter Bennett who helped create the Police Unity Tour which sees officers ride 180 miles to the national police memorial

Archant

A man from Seven Kings is gearing up to cycle 180 miles for charity to honour the service and sacrifice of Ilford police officer PC Phillip Walters who was killed on duty in 1995.

Peter Bennett, 51, helped found the UK Police Unity Tour, which sees hundreds of officers ride to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

Each rider wears a blue memorial bracelet inscribed with the name and information of a police officer, which they will carry to the finish line.

After the ride, cyclists will meet the family of the officer who died in the line of duty and hand over their bracelet to the survivors.

Peter, who works as a investigative lawyer and chartered accountant for the Serious Fraud Office, specifically requested to ride in memory of Pc Walters.

Pc Walters was shot dead aged only 28 after attending a disturbance with four colleagues at a house in Empress Avenue, Ilford, on April 18 1995.

A permanent memorial to the fallen officer had to be replaced last year after it was callously destroyed by vandals, which spurred Peter on to ride in Pc Walters name.

He said: “I was absolutely horrified when I learnt that the memorial had been damaged.

“I specifically requested to ride in his memory, the vandalism to his memorial just sickened me, it really did.”

All riders will raise money for charity Care Of Police Survivors (COPS) which helps the families of police officers killed in the line of duty rebuild their lives.

Peter said: “They do absolutely amazing work.

“Having seen close up the work that they do to support families of fallen officers, it’s really important.”

Peter, a keen cyclist, who now sits on the national organising committee for the event, helped co-found the Unity Tour in 2013.

It was inspired by the annual event in America, which sees thousands of police officers ride hundreds of miles to Washington, D.C

He said: “That year, we only had 17 people but now its grown to about 300, it’s absolutely fantastic.”

If you would like to donate to Peter’s JustGiving page, ahead of the ride taking place on July 29 and 30, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/peter-bennett14.


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