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Officers and staff "light the lakes" to raise money for charity

14 Jun, 2017 16:49 News

Officers and staff from Surrey Police will be taking to the Cumbrian fells with colleagues across the UK this weekend to help support the families of officers injured or killed at work.

This weekend sees the start of the sixth Light The Lakes event when teams of police officers, staff, retired officers and police friends will literally light up the famous Wainwright fells of Cumbria.

More than 200 teams from forces across the UK, including Northern Ireland and Greater Manchester, will climb separate hills and mountains on Friday night (16 June) and at 3am on Saturday (17 June) will light up each summit with torches and flares. This is a unique event in commemoration of those colleagues who have suffered or lost their lives, and to support them and their families through the Care of Police Survivors (COPS) charity.

The event began in 2012 to raise money to support the orphaned children of murdered Surrey Police Detective Constable Heather Cooper, with 594 police officers, colleagues and friends climbing Wainwright peaks in the Lake District and raising more than £30,000. Heather was just 33 years old when she was killed, and as well as being a mother of two, was also a respected and well-liked colleague and a professional police officer.

The event, which now raises money for COPS, has grown in the years since and is now one of the most popular outdoor events in British policing.

Surrey Police event organiser Detective Sergeant Vinny Wagijiani said: “I am so pleased to be leading this great event and to see colleagues from across the UK raising funds for COPS but also remembering lost colleagues. For me the special moment just after the light up is a time to reflect and think about my fallen workmates, their families and how honoured we are to be police officers.

“I am extremely proud this year that we have more than 200 teams taking part, and I would like to thank all my friends and colleagues at Surrey Police for the support and help in making this happen.”

You can find details of the event on https://www.facebook.com/pg/LightTheLakes/abo

The photograph shows DS Vinny Wagijiani taking part in last year's Light The Lakes event with his Surrey Police colleague Chris Latter.

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