A NORTH Yorkshire Police officer is preparing for an epic bike ride to raise money to help injured officers.

Detective Sergeant Steve Smales, who works at the force headquarters, is taking part in a gruelling 241-mile ride.

The Cycleogical Bike Ride will see 22 riders set off from Auchterarder on Saturday, June 22, and ride 230 miles in just 24 hours.

The ride raises money for police treatment centres, which look after about 4,000 officers each year from 23 forces around the country, but as it is largely funded by donations from serving officers, its funds have dropped in recent years along with police numbers.

Det Sgt Smales said: “I’m a keen club cyclist with a bit of experience across various disciplines, but there are a range of people from each force taking part. We’re setting off at 4am and we’ll keep going until we all arrive there in a group, so it’s a big undertaking.”

With funds raised by the sponsored ride, the treatment centres aim to expand their psychological wellbeing programmes, which currently help a quarter of all officers who visit the centres.

Det Sgt Smales said: “I think it’s a worthy cause and I have much hope to raise a significant amount, more than £1,000 per police officer taking part.. The response from members of the public has been overwhelming so I think people understand that police officers sometimes need a bit of helping hand.

“I have used the treatment system myself for a physical injury and the service and support and environment is fantastic, it’s a really worthwhile cause. It’s a long-established charity and partially funded by officers from their wages. It’s a fantastic thing and it’s helped me back into the workplace from injury, literally got me back on my feet and allowed me to do my job.”

To donate to the cause, go to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SteveSmales