Pc’s widow vows to continue push for ‘Harper’s Law’ on anniversary of campaign

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Lissie Harper at the National Police Memorial in London (Martis Media/PA)
Lissie Harper at the National Police Memorial in London (Martis Media/PA)

The widow of Pc Andrew Harper has vowed to continue her campaign to get the law changed in his name on the anniversary of launching her quest for “Harper’s Law”.

Lissie Harper wants to see a mandatory life sentence introduced for those who kill emergency workers in a criminal act.

Pc Harper, 28, died in August 2019 while responding to a quad bike theft on his final shift with Thames Valley Police before his honeymoon when he was seriously injured after being caught in a strap attached to the back of a car down a winding country road in Berkshire.

Lissie Harper (Martis Media/PA)
Lissie Harper (Martis Media/PA)

In a statement, Mrs Harper said: “Day after day, police officers, and sadly many of our emergency services heroes, look danger in the eyes and carry on regardless.

“They put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public, so we need to give something back to show we support them.”

Both Home Secretary Priti Patel and the Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland QC have backed her campaign but proposals are yet to come before Parliament and Mrs Harper said she would continue to pursue the change “until Harper’s Law is written in the history books”.

Mrs Harper added she hoped the end of summer recess and the party conference season would prove a boost to her campaign.

She said: “We have gained lots of momentum over the past year in discussions with the Ministry of Justice and The Home Office about making this much needed law a reality.

“With a year behind us since the commencement of such an emotional but all be it vital undertaking, I am reassured by the continued progress we make.

“I hope that with The Government returning from recess, and as party conference season takes place, we will be in a good position to make Harper’s Law a reality as soon as possible.

“We will continue to keep putting the pressure on politicians and continue to implore the Home Office to get this done now!”

She added she was expecting to meet Mr Buckland and Ms Patel in Westminster again to chart the progress of Harper’s Law.

Pc Andrew Harper was killed in 2019 responding to a quad bike (Credit: Thames Valley Police) (PA Media)
Pc Andrew Harper was killed in 2019 responding to a quad bike (Credit: Thames Valley Police) (PA Media)

Mrs Harper said: “Our protectors need our protection, to know that we appreciate everything they do for us, that running towards danger when everyone else runs away from it will not be met with injustice like it did for my husband.

“We know this won’t happen overnight, but make no mistake, I will not allow this to be kicked into the long grass.

“There will be no reprieve until Harper’s Law is written in the history books.”

A petition in support of the proposals has since reached more than 750,000 signatures.

Henry Long, 19, was sentenced to 16 years and 18-year-olds Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers were handed 13 years in custody over the manslaughter of the Thames Valley Police traffic officer after a trial at the Old Bailey.

The Court of Appeal last year rejected a bid by the Attorney General to increase the sentences handed to the trio.

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