A FORMER Gwent Police officer who faced a gruelling cycling challenge in memory of Gwent constables who died on duty, has raised more than £1,500 for charity.

At the weekend, Scott Askew joined hundreds of other UK police officers in the Police Unity Tour – a 180-mile cycling challenge raising money for charity Care of Police Survivors (COPS).

After taking part in the event last year, The 43-year-old former Gwent officer – who left the force in 2015 after 12 years of service and also took part in the event last year – has raised more than £1,500 for the charity, smashing his initial £400 target.

He rode in the cycling event in memory of PC Terry Davies, who died in August 1990 after being hit by a car while cycling home from work, but also and in memory of PC Adrian Ellis, who died in September 1989 in a motorcycle accident aged 29.

Participants in the race must choose a single officer to pay tribute to and in this case, Mr Askew chose PC Terry Davies, after riding in his memory last year and meeting his late wife and daughters, including Lowri, who is now a Gwent Police officer in the Alway area of Newport.

After receiving an armband from the event, engraved with PC Terry Davies’ name, he plans to donate it to the officer’s eldest daughter, Rebecca.

Mr Askew said: “I will readily admit that, over the last few weeks, I have stalked, harassed and cajoled many of you into sponsoring me but I’m sure you’ll all agree that the end justifies the means for this amazing cause.

“Care of Police Survivors or COPS as it’s also known, is a UK charity dedicated to helping the families of police officers who have lost their lives on duty – a cause close to all of our hearts, especially given recent tragic events.

“Once again, a huge thank you for all your donations, it’s appreciated more than you realise – not only by me but also by the families of our heroes.”

The Police Unity Tour started in Washington DC in 1997 and was organised to raise awareness of police officers who died in the line of duty with the motto of “we ride for those who died”.

Mr Askew got involved in 2016 and the UK event involves officers riding through counties including Leicestershire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

The challenge finishes at the COPS Annual Service of Remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

For more info on the Police Unity Tour or the work of COPS, visit: www.ukpoliceunitytour.org

For info on Mr Askew’s fundraising, visit: justgiving.com/fundraising/scott-askew1