Harper's Law is a salute to the bravery and heroism of our emergency workers, says Priti Patel
YOU have to be brave as an emergency worker.
Every day, police officers, prison guards, custody officers, firefighters, rescue workers and nurses all face huge challenges.
They charge headfirst towards danger to protect others and make life-saving decisions under pressure.
They represent the best of Britain. Sometimes, the worst among us repay that bravery with violence.
In 2019, PC Andrew Harper was dragged by a car as he tried to arrest some criminals. Tragically, it cost him his life. The thugs responsible were given prison sentences of 19 years or less.
This shocking crime happened in my first month as Home Secretary and has been on my mind ever since.
Andrew Harper was a hero. His killing devastated everyone who knew him. He was 28 and had just got married.
I have had the honour of meeting members of Andrew’s family several times.
They have campaigned tirelessly for Harper’s Law. This would mean mandatory life sentences for anyone convicted of killing an emergency worker in the line of duty whilst committing a crime, unless there are truly exceptional circumstances.
Many police officers have made very clear to me that they support this campaign.
I agree that change is needed to ensure the punishment reflects the severity of such crimes.
Any attack on an emergency worker is an attack on the fabric of our society.
And so in honour of Andrew, and to reflect the debt we owe to our emergency services workers every single day, this Government is making Harper’s Law happen.
PC Andrew Harper died far too young. But he made a big impact on the world around him. His family miss him every day – yet they can be extremely proud of him.
They should also be proud of their dignified campaign. Our emergency workers have had to be even braver than usual during the COVID pandemic.
It is sickening that so many of them have faced abuse, and worse. I will not tolerate that.
I will always back the police. So will the whole Government. We recognise emergency workers for what they are: heroes.
PC Andrew Harper’s wife has ‘positive’ chat with Priti Patel to help rid ‘evil in our society’ with longer jail terms
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