CHIEF Constable Francis Habgood and his team took to the streets on Sunday to take on the longest 'beat' ever.

The Thames Valley police chief was joined by his deputy John Campbell and 10 other officers and staff as they took on a 26 mile walk across three counties, to raise money for the mental health charity MIND.

They were celebrating 50 years since the Thames Valley police area they look after was created to serve Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. It is the largest non-metropolitan force in the country, serving a diverse population of 2.34 million people over 2,200 square miles with 196 miles of motorway.

The 26 mile walk started in Windsor on Sunday morning. It was an appropriate way to begin, as officers have policed major events in the town ranging from the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebration in 1977, to her Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012 and this year's wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Guarding Harry and Meghan and the crowds who gathered to wish them well was one of the largest policing operations in the force’s history, as 110,000 people gathered in the town.

Chief Constable Habgood and his team crossed into Buckinghamshire and walked past Dorney Lake, where in 2012 the force provided policing for the Olympic rowing event and the torch relay. Then they headed into Maidenhead and Henley finishing up at Shiplake.

It all took nine hours.

Chief Constable Habgood said: “This was a fantastic opportunity to get out in the Thames Valley area and see it from a different perspective while raising money for a very worthy cause.

“It has been a pleasure meeting people along the way and reflecting on our fiftieth year of policing the Thames Valley and all we have achieved across the three counties we walked through.

“I’d like to also take this opportunity to congratulate the whole team who successfully completed the Thames Mighty Hike.

“More than £4,200 has been raised for MIND, the mental health charity who provide invaluable support to our officers and staff."