Surrey Police is looking forward to welcoming the Olympic Torch when it arrives in the county for the first time next week.
Surrey Police officers and staff are gearing up for the celebrations and are expecting large numbers to make the most of what could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the Olympic Flame. Two people who are particularly looking forward to the Olympic Torch nearing the capital are Staff Officer Claire Gunney and Special Constable Andy Morgan.
Claire, who will run with the Torch in Redhill on 20 July, was nominated by her father-in-law for her sporting achievements. In her teens Claire was in the GB kayaking team but was forced to give up the sport when she became ill for several years. Claire recovered and managed to regain her previous fitness to attain a ranking of second in the world in the 18-mile kayak marathon event.
Claire, who is based at Surrey Police’s headquarters at Mount Browne, said: “I’m really excited and very grateful to have been nominated and chosen for this honour. Having the Olympics in London is amazing and it is great that so many people are able to get involved and that the Olympic Torch is visiting so many places.”
Andy, a Surrey Police Special for the last five years, was nominated by his peers in his day job as a Project Manager at McDonalds for his work in the community. He will be running with the Flame in Haringey on the penultimate day of the Torch Relay on Thursday, 26 July.
“I’m both very excited and very privileged to have this once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’m sure the atmosphere will be amazing,” Andy added.
The Torch Relay is making three trips in to Surrey over the coming couple of weeks as the Olympic Flame nears the end of its 70 day trip around the UK.
Members of the public will be able to see the Torch Relay in Egham next Tuesday (10 July) as part of its trip from Oxford to Reading and then in Felbridge on Tuesday, 17 July, as it makes its way from Brighton and Hove to Hastings. The final leg in Surrey on Friday, 20 July, will see the Olympic Flame set off from Maidstone in the morning and then call at various locations including Godstone, Bletchingley, Redhill, Reigate, Dorking, Westcott, Shere and Godalming before an evening celebration at Stoke Park in Guildford.
Surrey Police has been working closely with a range of delivery partners ahead of the Torch Relay entering the county and has well rehearsed plans in place to deliver a safe and secure event.
Chief Superintendent Gavin Stephens said: “There is a real sense of excitement and anticipation about the Torch making its way in to the county. We have been watching the Torch Relay closely in other parts of the country and it has been fantastic to see the crowds that have gathered to see the iconic flame.
“Despite the large crowds, people seem to have really got in to the spirit of the event and there has not been any noticeable increase in crime or disorder. That said, we will be on-hand to deal with any incidents that should occur, whilst also dealing with any issues that affect our local communities.
“The wait is coming to an end and it will soon be our turn to put our plans in to action and share this unique and momentous occasion with our communities.”
Further information about the Torch Relay is available at www.gosurrey.info. Residents are advised to familarise themselves with the planned road closures and be patient and realistic about their travel plans over this period.