POLICE officers and support workers from South Gloucestershire mounted their biggest operation yet when they ascended Africa’s highest peak.

The 22-strong team, made up of officers, PCSOs and support staff, scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of charity.

They included Special Constable Roland Lock, from Thornbury, as well as staff based on the Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Somerset East and Somerset West police districts and in the road policing based in Almondsbury.

The 10-day expedition was led by Kingswood beat manager PC Dom Pickett, who leads high altitude expeditions around the world.

The team, which included former as well as serving staff, travelled through five different climatic zones - bush, rainforest, heath, alpine desert and arctic – as the mountain creates a unique and unpredictable weather system.

PC Pickett said: "We spent six days on the mountain in really challenging conditions. Two people suffered badly from altitude sickness and didn't complete the climb.

"The rest made it to Gilman's Point, 5,700m above sea level, and 14 reached the Uhuru Peak, 5,895m above sea level."

The police officers, five PCSOs and three members of the Special Constabulary were raising money for a number of charities including Above and Beyond, which supports nine hospitals in Bristol, and Commando999, which supports serving and former marines and their families through the Royal Marines Charitable Trust.