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Police arboretum visitors invited to turn detective

The hosts of the National Police Memorial are hoping some detective work will help raise vital funds for its upkeep.

The National Memorial Arboretum is launching two police-themed activities for visitors as part of its summer activity programme.

Operation Kingpin and Operation Vault have been devised for the thousands of families and groups expected to visit the 150-acre garden and woodland site in Staffordshire – and raise thousands of pounds to support it.

The activities are part of a programme of events, called Our Everyday Heroes, which celebrates people working in the emergency services. 

The two outdoor escape challenges invite visitors to embark on a crime-cracking adventure, working as a team to try and foil a bank robbery. As they work to crack a series of puzzles, teams will visit some of the many memorials connected to the emergency services.

Families must become a robbery squad to find a gang of thieves digging a tunnel beneath a bank, planning to steal all of the money from one of the underground vaults. They must help Inspector Jack Heart and Inspector Aliyah Clarke solve the puzzles around the Arboretum, identifying the gang’s ringleader before it’s too late. 

Operation Kingpin (£12 per team) is designed for families (ages 8+) and takes around two hours to complete. Meanwhile, experienced puzzle crackers can take on Operation Vault (£15 per team) which takes two to three hours to complete. 

Other events this summer include a Proms night, talks by experts and an autumn festival.

Chris Ansell, Head of Participation and Learning. “We’ve worked hard to find new ways to shine a spotlight on the tireless efforts made by Our Everyday Heroes during the pandemic and the incredible work they do in our communities all year round.”  

The site has been developed through charity donations including dozens of fundraising events by officers around the country.

The arboretum, which is the charity off-shoot of the Royal British Legion, host 400 memorials dedicated to the military and emergency services as well as some civilian tributes.

Celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year, it welcomes over 300,000 visitors to site each year, including over 20,000 young people for formal and informal learning visits.

The latest dedication, the National Police Memorial, was formally opened last week by the Prince of Wales and families of officers killed on duty.

The site has been open despite the COVID-19 outbreak and organisers hope people enjoying a staycation will be among the visitors.

The Arboretum is continuing to control capacity for the comfort of all visitors and pre-booking is recommended to guarantee entry. 

“We have a fantastic array of family activities on offer this summer and expect to welcome thousands of families before the end of the holidays,” said Mark Ellis, Head of Visitor Experience.

“To ensure we can offer a high-quality experience for all visitors we are continuing to control the number of people on site. You can now pre-book tickets up until the end of the summer holidays and we recommend people book to guarantee their entry.” 

To book for an event go HERE

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