Thames Valley Police officers have observed a minute’s silence for murdered PC Andrew Harper to mark the one year anniversary of his death.

The 28-year-old constable died as he tried to stop three thieves fleeing after they stole a quad bike in Stanford Dingley, Berkshire, on August 15 last year.

Around 20 officers are gathered at Newbury police station for one of several services being held on Friday. Due to social distancing requirements, the memorials will be repeated to allow more officers to pay their respects.

Thames Valley Police said Mr Harper’s family, close colleagues, and the force’s chief constable attended private service in the morning at their training centre in Sulhamstead, Berkshire, where dozens of floral tributes have been left.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Services are also being held in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, where he was based.

Officers across Thames Valley Police observed a one minute silence at 11am. Saturday, the actual anniversary date, has been left free of commemorations so that Mr Harper’s family and friends can mark that date however they wish to.

Paying tribute at one of the services, Inspector Al Hawkett said Mr Harper was a ‘brave’ officer ‘who gave his life on behalf of others’.

He added: ‘Andrew was a brave young police officer, killed whilst doing the job that he loved.

‘He was a good man who believed in policing.

‘His dedication to protect the public from harm is testament to his courage and professionalism.’

The newly married officer was dragged to his death after his foot got caught in a crane strap dangling from the back of a Seat Toledo.

Henry Long, 19, who drove the car, was last month sentenced to 16 years in prison for manslaughter, while 18-year-olds Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers received 13-year sentences, also for manslaughter.

PC Harper’s widow, Lissie Harper, and his mother Deborah Adlam, have launched a campaign backed by the Police Federation of England and Wales, calling for full-life prison terms for those who kill emergency services workers.

Speaking to Good Morning Britain (GMB) earlier this month, Deborah argued ‘Andrew’s Law’ would make sure sentences ‘define the crime’ of killing officers, although she accepted no punishment will help her family get over losing her son.

In a victim impact statement read to the court before sentencing, she described him as ‘brave, funny, caring and uplifting’. ‘I love and miss him daily with every passing moment,’ she said. ‘He will be loved forever.’

Mr Harper had only been married to childhood sweetheart Lissie for one month before he died. She said it was ‘appalling’ that his killers were acquitted of murder and has spoken of being ‘lost in an endless world’.

‘Unless you have stood in my shoes, lost a soulmate, a beloved partner you intended to spend your life with – how is this grief possible to describe,’ she said in a victim impact statement.

Advertisement

Advertisement

‘I have used every word possible to describe this torture – indescribable trauma I have been forced to endure these past 11 months. I have cried and broken down. ‘My husband was brutally killed four weeks after our wedding day.

‘Should I speak again of how we were robbed of our future or the plans stolen from us?

‘Four weeks was all I had with my husband – four weeks to be called his wife. My life often feels bleak, hopeless, irreparable.

‘Every aspect of my life since Andrew was taken is bitterly different.’

The Attorney General’s office has been asked to review whether the sentences of Mr Harper’s killers were too lenient and will draw a conclusion early next month.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.