Police officers’ Euro trip in a ‘rust bucket’ raises funds in memory of colleague

Chris Hinitt, left, and Chris Rodda on the St Gotthard Pass in Switzerland Picture: CHRIS HINITT

Chris Hinitt, left, and Chris Rodda on the St Gotthard Pass in Switzerland Picture: CHRIS HINITT - Credit: Archant

It was Monte Carlo or bust for Suffolk Constabulary’s very own ‘Men In Black’.

‘Men in Black’ – Chris Hinitt, right, and Chris Rodda Picture: CHRIS HINITT

Men in Black Chris Hinitt, right, and Chris Rodda Picture: CHRIS HINITT - Credit: Archant

Detective Inspector Chris Hinitt, from the joint Roads Policing and Firearms Operations Unit (RPFOU), and former Suffolk RPFOU Sergeant Chris Rodda took part in a rust bucket rally across Europe in memory of retired RPFOU Pc Barry Humm, who died in February after battling cancer for four years.

The intrepid duo drove from Belgium to Monte Carlo – through Luxembourg, Germany, France, Switzerland and Italy – in a £200 Volkswagen Passat between May 31 and June 3.

More than 80 teams took part in the banger rally and had to drive a vehicle worth no more than £500 around 950 miles through Europe while taking on a series of fun challenges and fancy dress days.

The Suffolk drivers dubbed themselves the ‘Men In Black’ and sported four 4ft-high inflatable aliens in the back of their old banger as they headed for Monte Carlo. They also dressed up in CSI suits for another white-themed fancy dress day.

Barry Humm Picture: SUPPLIED BY CHRIS HINITT

Barry Humm Picture: SUPPLIED BY CHRIS HINITT - Credit: Archant


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DI Hinitt said: “It was a real laugh with the added thrill of not knowing if we would finish… or be able to drive back to Suffolk in the car. The four aliens certainly drew a few befuddled looks from passers-by!

“Originally we were going to do it with Barry but unfortunately he passed away early this year so we decided to continue and raise money for Cancer Research.

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“He would have wanted us to carry on with the rally and we took part in his memory. It was his idea to do the rally a year ago and he remained the team captain and had his name on the car. He took part in medical trials to try to help others in the future and it was his request that we complete the rally with or without him.”

One of the highlights of the trip was the breath-taking St Gotthard Pass in Switzerland, described as one of the driving wonders of the world. Then it was a cruise down the mountains into Italy and on to Monte Carlo where contestants were challenged to take a picture of their rust bucket next to a glitzy yacht or outside the famous casino.

The vehicle didn’t put a foot wrong during the trip and DI Hinitt thanked Triple C and Whip Street Motors in Ipswich for their support. A JustGiving page is still active – click here to donate. More than £1,600 has been raised to date.

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