Cops ride in memory of tragic Mandy

WPC mandy rayner ....see words
WPC mandy rayner ....see words

A former detective is to cycle 180 miles in memory of Mandy Rayner from Luton, the first woman police officer to be killed in Britain while on duty.

Mandy was based at Hitchin Police Station, and now former North Herts detective, Frank Parsons 62 is to take part in the UK Police Unity Tour 2015, which starts in London on Friday.

Mandy was killed on duty more than 30 years ago when a drunk driver deliberately smashed his vehicle into the police car she was in. Frank was a young detective at the time and attended the aftermath of the crash.

On Friday he will join scores of other serving and retired police officers, along with support staff for a sponsored cycle ride that will set off from the National Police Memorial in The Mall around 8am

They will then cycle through six counties before arriving on Sunday morning at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, where they will take part in the annual memorial service organised by the charity COPS - Care of Police Survivors - to remember and honour fallen police officers.

Each cyclist will have ridden in memory of an officer from his or her force who has died in the line of duty. During the ride each rider will wear a bracelet bearing the name of that officer.

And the riders will present relatives with the bracelets baring the names of their loved ones.

Mandy was just 18 and only five weeks out of training when she died in October 1982.

Frank, who retired as a detective from the Herts Constabulary 12 years ago and who now works as an assistant investigator with the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, will present the bracelet to Mandy’s sister, Mrs Beverley Kukic.

Said Frank “I was a young detective and on duty the night Mandy died and arrived on the scene where it happened in the aftermath.

“I attended her funeral and this means a lot to me to be able to do this and give something back to COPS.”

At 18, Mandy remains the youngest police woman to have been killed while on duty.

As a tribute to the young policewoman, the blue lamp that stood outside Hitchin Police Station where she was based was given to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

It’s known as ‘Mandy’s Lamp’ and stands as a tribute to the young officer and all the other police officers who have died in the course of their duties.

The idea of policemen cycling to honour the memory of fallen officers began in the USA, but in 2012 officers from the Metropolitan Police looked into bringing the idea to the UK.

As a result, the first UK Police Unity Tour was held in July 2013.