n online petition that is calling for anyone who is convicted of killing an emergency worker to spend the rest of their lives behind bars has now reached 500,000 signatures.
Lissie Harper, the widow of PC Andrew Harper, is due to meet the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, later this month to talk about the need to ensure that anyone who is convicted of killing an emergency worker spends the rest of their life behind bars.
PC Andrew Harper was killed on 15th August last year after he was dragged behind a car for 1.4 miles at an average speed of 42.5 mph.
PC Harper and his colleague, PC Andrew Shaw, were heading back to their police station, having already worked several hours of overtime, before clocking off when a distressed home-owner called 999 after he saw three armed & masked men raiding his property.
PC Harper and PC Shaw rushed to the scene and confronted Henry Long, Jesse Cole and Albert Bowers as they tried to leave the area whilst towing a stolen £10,000 quad bike.
As PC Shaw spun his police vehicle around, PC Andrew Harper lept from the car and ran after Jesse Cole who had been steering the stolen quad bike as it was being towed behind a Seat Leon that was being driven by ‘career criminal’ Henry Long.
PC Harper’s ankle became stuck in the stolen crane strop that was being used to tow the stolen quad bike.
Long, Bowers and Cole were all found guilty of the manslaughter of PC Harper, but after various ‘discounts’ were applied to their sentences, then they could be out of prison in under ten years.
Talking about the petition, Lissie said:
‘We are calling for #HarpersLaw.
‘The creation of this law would mean anyone found guilty of killing a police officer, firefighter, nurse, doctor, prison officer or paramedic would be jailed for life.
‘When emergency services workers are killed on duty, then it hits right at the heart of our democracy.
‘We ask police officers, firefighters, nurses, doctors, prison officers and paramedics to go out there and keep the Queen’s peace on behalf of society. We ask them to save people’s lives. We ask them to protect us.
‘So society must offer the greatest protection for those dedicated public servants who are killed protecting it.
‘That is what Harper’s Law would provide. An appropriate deterrent and a suitable punishment.
‘The law must be changed. We want to work with the Government, politicians of all parties and the fantastic British public on this.
‘We must protect the protectors.
‘That is why we need Harper’s Law’.
Speaking about the 500k signature milestone, Lissie said:
“We clearly have the backing of the public and I am stunned, delighted and incredibly thankful to all.”
PC Harper and Lissie had been married just over four weeks when he was killed. They were due to go on their honeymoon the week after the officer was killed.
The sentences handed down to Long, Bowers and Cole have been referred to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentencing Scheme.