‘Sky jump’ bid in memory of fallen Hampshire officer

TAKING THE PLUNGE PC Mark Walsh
TAKING THE PLUNGE PC Mark Walsh
Chief Inspector Sharon Woolrich

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A POLICEMAN is to jump 855ft (260m) off the tallest building in Las Vegas in memory of a fellow officer killed in a crash.

Fareham-based PC Steve Rawson, 40, was riding an unmarked motorbike that collided with a BMW outside the Shell garage in Thomas Lewis Way, Southampton, on April 3.

The father-of-two was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Now PC Mark Walsh, also a father-of-two and based in Fareham, is to ‘sky jump’ the equivalent of 108 floors off the Stratosphere Tower in PC Rawson’s memory.

He will also raise money for the Care of Police Survivors (Cops) charity, which helps families of police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty rebuild their lives.

PC Walsh said: ‘People can forget that behind police officers there is a family as well.

‘We were all devastated when Steve’s life was taken on duty.’

He will take part in the jump during time off on a trip to the USA to research youth ‘peer courts’ in a bid to set up a similar scheme in Hampshire.

It works by allowing young people to decide punishments for peers committing their first crime if it is a minor offence.

His trip is funded by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

About £18,000 has been raised for PC Rawson’s family since his death from the sale of pin badges and donations from across the country.

And more than 1,000 Hampshire officers and staff donated £1 from their salaries in May.

John Apter, Hampshire Police Federation chairman, said: ‘The generosity and love that has come from officers and the public following Steve’s death has been of great comfort to the family.

‘I know PC Mark Walsh very well and the fact that he is doing something so extreme comes as no surprise!’

To sponsor PC Walsh visitjustgiving.com/skyjump4copsuk