PC Andrew Harper

Newlywed PC Andrew Harper had married his fiancée Lissie on July 18, and they were due to go on honeymoon together next week
A police officer attending a burglary was dragged beneath a van for several hundred yards before being hit by a police dog vehicle responding to the incident, according to reports.

PC Andrew Harper, 28, was attending the scene in Sulhamstead, near Reading, before being dragged down the road when he was hit by a Seat 'getaway' van at 11.30pm on Thursday.

The newlywed officer, who married fiancée Lissie four weeks ago, was thrown from the vehicle's undercarriage before being struck by a police vehicle thought to have been part of a dog unit taking part in the pursuit, The Times reported.

A witness said he heard an officer yelling: 'Stay with me, stay with me, keep breathing,' as PC Harper lay fatally injured in the road.

Ten people - including a boy of 13 - have been arrested after what Prime Minister Boris Johnson described as a 'mindless and brutal' crime.

Yesterday officers were seen attending a nearby Travellers' site near Burghfield, where inquiries were carried out in relation to the incident.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which investigates when someone is hit by a police vehicle, has not yet opened an inquiry by an agreement with the force, it was reported.

Four weeks ago, PC Harper was posing for pictures on his wedding day, and cut the cake with new wife Lissie next to a sign reading 'Happily Ever Harper'.

But yesterday it emerged the 28-year-old officer was the latest victim of Wild West Britain when he was mown down and 'dragged along by a vehicle' while responding to a burglary in Berkshire.

PC Harper

Members of the public pass on flowers to a police officer this morning after PC Harper was dragged beneath a van
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PC Harper and his bride were due to go on honeymoon next week, but late on Thursday night the couple's dreams were shattered in the cruellest fashion when the officer lost his life in the line of duty.

Last night, just over two miles from the crime scene, police were searching a travellers' site, strewn with litter and children's toys.

PC Harper's death triggered a fresh debate over the level of serious crime on Britain's streets. Only yesterday, Richard Atkins QC, the chairman of the Bar Council, warned that criminals were 'going about their business unchallenged'.

MPs from all parties were united in their condemnation of the murder, describing it as 'sickening' and saying police officers had been left 'dangerously exposed'.

Home Secretary Priti Patel, who declared last month that she wanted to see criminals 'feel terror' on the streets, said she was 'devastated and appalled' by PC Harper's murder.


Comment: Miss Patel demonstrates her lack of psychological knowledge of criminality - many criminals rarely feel 'terror' when committing a crime, they instead get a euphoric rush, or they feel very little. Although this lack of awareness and capability for the job is to be expected from Miss Patel who not long ago was ousted from her post for conspiring with Israeli politicians.


Mr Johnson, who has pledged to hire another 20,000 police officers to get a grip of the problem, said he was 'shocked and appalled' and admitted 'we are seeing too much violent crime on our streets'.


Comment: Mr Johnson's government is largely responsible for the under funding of the police and the collapse in staffing: UK: Met police officer explains why they've lost control of the streets - 'austerity'


PC Harper's devastated family described the officer - a 'highly regarded' member of Thames Valley Police - as 'the loveliest person that you will ever meet'.

PC Harper

PC Harper's family including his grandmother Maureen and uncle Dale have paid tribute
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Police attended a traveller site near Burghfield Common, about two miles from where PC Harper died, and officers were seen blocking entrance to the site as they carried out enquiries in relation to the death of PC Harper

PC Harper, who became a regular officer in 2011 after joining as a special constable a year earlier, had attended the reported break-in near the village of Sulhamstead with a colleague at 11.30pm on Thursday night.

While it is unclear exactly what happened or what was being targeted in the burglary, PC Harper was injured on a lane just off the A4 Bath Road between Reading and Newbury - a crossroads next to the 12-bedroom Braeburn Lodge care home.

At an emotional press conference, Chief Constable John Campbell said officers were working 'hard and diligently to find out what happened'. He said: 'What we do know is Andrew had been dragged along by a vehicle', adding that all ten suspects had been arrested within an hour of the incident.

A resident in nearby Burghfield said a police helicopter hovered over a travellers' site from midnight until about 4am yesterday.

PC Harper married Lissie, also 28, in Oxfordshire on July 18 in the grounds of Ardington House, a listed stately home built in 1720.

Mrs Harper posted wedding pictures online and said the couple 'could not have asked for more'. She added: 'The sun was shining and the venue was incredible.'

PC Harper's uncle Dale Shrimpton, 56, said: 'We are devastated. He was the loveliest person that you will ever meet. I can't begin to tell you how we feel. We all loved him very much. He didn't have a bad bone in his body.'

Met Chief Superintendent Sally Benatar wrote on Twitter: 'So sad to read this. PC Harper was the officer in the case when my then husband was arrested for domestic violence in 2016. He was on Thames Valley Response then.

'He was brilliant and gave me the courage to take steps to change my life. I can't thank him enough. He was a top officer.'

PC Harper's death comes after PC Stuart Outten was stabbed in the head in Leyton, east London, on August 8. Days later a 42-year-old West Midlands Police officer suffered serious injuries when he was run over with his own vehicle.

Harper

PC Harper had married his fiancee Lissie Harper just a month ago and were starting a new life together as a married couple
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the death highlighted the need for a boost to police numbers. He added: 'Let's just think for a moment of the horror of it, but also for the need for more police officers to be able to respond to disorder in our society.'

Home affairs committee chairman Yvette Cooper said: 'Police officers like PC Harper demonstrate extraordinary bravery every day, and his death is a tragic reminder of the immense sacrifices made to keep us safe.'

As police worked inside forensic tents near the property yesterday, the witness said: 'When I came outside I could see one patrol car facing the A4 and the other facing in the other direction. The officer's crewmate was shouting, saying "Stay with me, stay with me. Keep breathing." Those words will stay with me.

The force's flags were flying at half-mast as a sign of respect 'in honour and memory of Andrew', he said, adding: 'The officer was well-known across the force so it is felt very personally... by the whole police family.'

The incident took place at the crossroads of Ufton Lane and Lambdens Hill, near the village of Sulhamstead - close to Bucklebury where the Duchess of Cambridge's parents Carole and Michael Middleton live.
Society has 'less fear of the police', officer says after machete attack

The boss of the officer stabbed by a machete said last week that people in modern day society have 'less fear of the police'.

Detective Chief Superintendent Richard Tucker is head of the unit including Stuart Otten, who was attacked last Thursday in Leyton, East London.

He said that the attack which shocked the nation was a 'symptom of people having less fear of the police'.

Mr Tucker added: 'It's shocking, but unfortunately it's not uncommon. I've been in police for a long time — there's certainly a sense of a lack of respect, not just for police but for authority.'



Comment: Corrupt politicians have earned the lack of respect, meanwhile the police are charged with implementing their half-baked schemes: England's police deployed to hunt down 'offensive speech' amidst an actual rise in crime


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Andy Fiddler, from the Thames Valley Police Federation, added: 'This is totally devastating news.

'Today, assaults on police officers have become far too common. I am concerned that attacks on police officers are no longer regarded within some communities with the same level of seriousness as they were previously.

'In the past, most criminals were careful not to attack a police officer. But as sentences across the board have become more lenient, so the number of assaults increased. There would seem to be a clear correlation.

'The tragic death of PC Harper is a wake up call for our criminal justice system. That it happened is a sad reflection on society today.

'The majority of the public are law-abiding, but we have a small hardcore who cause a totally disproportionate amount of crime. I hope that this can now be addressed.

'It is not as if this problem has come as a surprise. It must now be dealt with.'

The Independent Office for Police Conduct said it had been made aware of the officer's death, due to possible issues around a police pursuit, but is not investigating.

PC Harper's death has sparked an outpouring of affection with relatives saying they were left 'devastated' by his death but added that they were 'so proud of him'.

He said the suspects were detained within about an hour of the incident and officers are working 'hard and diligently to find out what happened'.

A post-mortem examination is taking place to establish the cause of death.

PC Stuart Outten was knifed with a foot-long blade last week after pulling over a van driver suspected of having no insurance.

The 28-year-old's family said his injuries could have been fatal after he suffered four deep cuts to his head and neck.

Despite bleeding profusely, the officer managed to incapacitate his attacker with a Taser stun gun and then call for an ambulance on his radio.

Mobile phone footage has emerged which shows him bent over in the road while a passer-by tells him he is bleeding, to which PC Outten sighed and replied: 'Oh, yeah.'

His heroism led many to brand PC Outten as 'the hardest bobby in Britain'.

He was rushed to hospital in a critical condition following the attack in Leyton, East London, shortly after midnight on Thursday morning of last week.

Astonishingly, he was discharged from hospital at about 2pm the next day - just 38 hours after the attack. Wounds on his left cheek, both temples and on the back of his head were stitched up.

He underwent surgery to re-attach tendons in his thumb, which was almost chopped off during the attack.

The man accused of attacking PC Outten appeared in court last week charged with attempted murder. Muhammad Rodwan, from Luton, is also charged with possession of an offensive weapon.

Deputy District Judge Adrian Turner remanded Rodwan in custody at Thames Magistrates' Court until his next appearance at the Old Bailey on September 6.