A former Gatwick Airport flight attendant is due to take on a unique role in British policing.

PC Simone Gibson is set to travel with the Olympic and Paralympic Flames as a member of a special detachment of officers ahead of the opening of this year's London Olympics.

Simone, who worked for a small European airline at Gatwick for a year and spent 15 years as a theatre nurse at various hospitals including in Surrey, before joining the police, is a member of the Metropolitan Police Service's (MPS) specialist Torch Security Team (TST).

The TST has undergone 18-months of training and preparations for its role in protecting the Olympic Flame as it travels around the country ahead of the Olympics' opening ceremony.

The TST, known as “the runners,” are an important part of the wider torch security team, which includes motorcyclists, pedal cyclists, senior officers and operational planners.

Together, they will ensure the integrity, safety and security of the Olympic and Paralympic Flames, plus the immediate protection of the Torch Bearer holding the flame on its journey around the country.

And PC Gibson will be working as part of the team from the moment the Olympic Flame leaves Lands End until it arrives at the Olympic Stadium.

A serving officer for 18 years, PC Gibson, 50, is currently an officer within the Safer Transport Command.

She was chosen to take on the TST challenge from an initial 664 applicants following an eight-month selection process.

She will be policing various legs of the relay and is hoping to run through either her current home county of West Sussex, or through Camberwell in London, where she is originally from.

PC Gibson said:"I applied to be a part of the TST as running is my hobby and my passion.”

She said: “I enjoy meeting new people and I am really looking forward to meeting some of the 8,000 torchbearers who have been chosen.

“This is a completely different role to my day-to-day job and I'm still pinching myself that I will be a part of something so spectacular."

Many hours have gone into preparing for the role, and outside of work, Simone has continued to maintain her own training both mentally and physically by walking, doing gym classes, meditating and running for her local running club.

In addition, she is also a volunteer with the RSPCA and once a week walks the dogs, which she finds very therapeutic and which contributes to her weekly work-out.

Her love for running is what led her to apply to be a part of the TST and she is a former member of the Brighton and Hove women's running club, and has taken part in several British Military Fitness runs.

Simone's friends and family are very excited that she has been chosen to escort the torch around the country and she is hoping her mum especially will be able to catch a glimpse of her on TV.

The TST is made up of about 70 staff and officers, including 35 'runners.'

The TST and local police force will clear a pathway for the torch bearer as the relay progresses. Officers on motorcycles will travel in advance of the relay to check that there are no changing circumstances on the route, and pedal cyclists will work ahead of the relay, liaising with the torch bearer who is about to receive the flame.

A minimum of three TST escorts will keep pace with the torch bearer, forming a protective bubble around them.

Officers will travel on a range of modes of transport and run up to 30 miles a day.