PC Andrew Harper’s widow Lissie is launching a campaign for ‘Andrew’s Law’ to ensure those convicted of killing police officers and other emergency service workers face life in prison.
Lissie, working with the Police Federation of England and Wales, will call for a change to the law in meetings with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel in the coming weeks and is urging the public and politicians to get behind her campaign.
Lissie said: “I pledge to my late husband to never stop until I have made the difference that this country clearly needs. I vow to stand strong and firm with so many other honourable people in our country to make the changes that we clearly know to be justified.
"I hope that by creating a new ‘Andrew’s Law’ - that sees any person who commits a crime that results in the death of an emergency worker being jailed for life - that those who have to go through what I have been through in the future get the justice that they rightly deserve.”
Newly married Thames Valley Police officer Andrew was killed on 15 August last year by Henry Long, Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole. The trio were convicted of manslaughter last month but cleared of murder.
On Friday, Long was jailed for 16 years and Bowers and Cole for 13 years. The Attorney General is currently reviewing their sentences to see if they were too lenient.
Lissie said: “As a widow of a police officer - a title which I would give everything to not have - I have witnessed first-hand the lenient and insufficient way in which the justice system deals with criminals who take the lives of our emergency workers.
“I have grown close to our under-appreciated protectors ever more since the death of Andrew. I have been enveloped in love and support from not only the police and other emergency workers but so many of the general public too who I know fully support my feelings over the verdict and sentences which Andrew’s killers have received.
“The people responsible for wreaking utter despair and grief in all of our lives will spend an inadequate amount of time behind bars. These men who showed no remorse, no guilt or sorrow for taking such an innocent and heroic life away will find themselves able to live out the rest of their lives free and able to commit more crimes and continue to put people in danger when they are released in a very small number of years.”
She added: “I wish to ensure that anyone who finds themselves in my position, any widows of the future, will not have to experience the same miscarriages of justice.
“Let us finally put in place laws in which we can actually be proud of, let us do something about the injustices of our systems that cause so much heartache and utter outrage from us all.”
John Apter, national chair of the Police Federation, has given his backing to Lissie’s campaign.
He said: “We fully support Lissie and her campaign to seek a change in the law. Andrew was brutally killed, leaving his wife, loved ones, colleagues and the nation devastated.
“The killing of a police officer should see those responsible face the rest of their lives in prison. This campaign would be Andrew’s legacy and we will continue to support Lissie in her efforts to seek justice and change the law for the greater good.”