PC Andrew Harper: 40,000 sign the petition for Harper’s Law

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Speaking for the first time, PC Andrew Harper’s father, Phil, said a new law is needed to impose tougher sentences on criminals who target the people who are “the backbone of this country”.

Getaway driver Harry Long, 19, was sentenced to 16 years and Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole, both 18, were given 13 years after the Thames Valley Police traffic officer was dragged to his death.

Mr Harper, 55, said: “When Lissie announced the campaign for Harper’s Law we decided that it could be achievable with the right support. I’m also so proud of Sean and Aimee – Andrew’s brother and sister – for being so dignified throughout the last year.

“Both Sean and Aimee have lost more than just a brother – he was a best friend as well.”

Thanking his wife Karen, Mr Harper said: “From when Andrew was just four years old, the love and support she has shown in bringing up my children, feeding and clothing them and taking them to school has been incredible.”

He said he is proud of widow Lissie, 29, for the campaign. The couple had married just a month before PC Harper was killed on August 15 last year.

Mr Harper added: “Our family have always held the view that in our society there are people that are the backbone of this country, people who look after us and pick us up when we fall, people that give us the opportunity to live freely…

“These people are there to protect us and we must do all we can to support, appreciate and respect them – from doctors, nurses, paramedics to firefighters, prison officers and of course police officers, many of whom have been attacked, injured or killed in the past.”

His comments came as the Daily Express learned that police chiefs have agreed a 28-point plan to improve officer safety.

Sign the petition “Anyone guilty of killing an emergency services worker to be jailed for life” online at www.change.org/uk

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