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£100,000 raised for Pc Andrew Harper’s family as 10 quizzed in murder probe

UK News | Published:

Grieving officers have laid floral tributes at the scene in Berkshire where their colleague was killed.

Pc Andrew Harper

Well-wishers have donated more than £100,000 in just 24 hours to support the family and widow of Pc Andrew Harper as murder detectives continue questioning 10 suspects, including a 13-year-old boy.

The 28-year-old newlywed officer died of multiple injuries after he was dragged along by a vehicle while investigating a burglary reported in the village of Bradfield Southend, Berkshire, at around 11.30pm on Thursday night.

Ten males – aged between 13 and 30 – were arrested at a nearby caravan park within an hour, Thames Valley Police said.

Police have been granted an extra 36 hours to question the suspects, Detective Superintendent Ailsa Kent told reporters on Saturday.

A fundraising page set up by Thames Valley Police Federation to support Pc Harper’s widow, Lissie, and his family broke the £100,000 mark on Sunday night.

It reads: “We confront danger on a daily basis. We know there is a risk when we put on the uniform but we do so as we are proud to protect the public.

“Sadly on very rare and horrendous occasions a colleague makes the ultimate sacrifice. We will ensure that heroism is never forgotten.”

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Pc Andrew Harper and his wife, Lissie
Pc Andrew Harper and his wife, Lissie, celebrating their wedding just four weeks ago (Mark Lord/PA)

Pc Harper’s father, Philip, said the family have been “absolutely devastated” by the death, telling Sky News: “We’re in a bad place.”

Pc Harper, who tied the knot with new wife Lissie just four weeks ago in what relatives have described as a “dream wedding”, was reportedly due to go on his honeymoon in a few days.

Images show the couple celebrating their wedding at the award-winning Ardington House, a Georgian manor set in gardens and parkland in Oxfordshire.

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On Sunday, country roads near the Four Houses Corner caravan park were closed as police scoured ditches for evidence near the site where the suspects were arrested.

Several forensic officers could be seen on Saturday gathered around what appeared to be a black hatchback car inside the park, which is near Burghfield Common.

Police officer killed in Sulhamsted
Police officers search a road near the Four Houses Corner caravan site (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Grieving officers have laid floral tributes at the scene where their colleague was killed at the junction of Ufton Lane and Lambdens Hill.

Some could be seen embracing, while one wiped away a tear from her cheek.

One tribute, accompanied by an image of Pc Harper smiling with a friend, said: “Harps, I am truly gutted. A great cop, a great man, a great friend.

“There will always be a part of my heart missing now. RIP mate, love you.

“Chef, Sarah and Harry.”

Police officers stand in silence at the scene
Police officers stand in silence at the scene (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Thames Valley Chief Constable John Campbell said on Friday that Pc Harper joined as a special constable in 2010 before becoming a police officer a year later, serving in the Roads Policing Proactive Unit based at Abingdon.

Mr Campbell said Pc Harper was a “highly regarded, popular member of the team”, adding: “Everybody I’ve spoken to about Andrew talked about the incredible personality he was, what a fantastic police officer, and what a great friend and man he was, and he’ll be sorely missed by everybody.”

Meanwhile, a fundraising page set up by Pc Harper in aid of children suffering with cancer has been flooded with donations.

He made the page with a £500 target for the 20-mile, 200-obstacle Dirty Weekend race in Peterborough in May next year.

But a deluge of donations has now taken the total amount raised to more than £16,000 in aid of Children with Cancer UK.

He had written: “Even if only one child benefits then it will be well and truly worth it.”

Police officer killed in Sulhamsted
A police officer arranges flowers left near the scene where Pc Andrew Harper died (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Pc Harper is the first officer to be killed on duty since March 2017, when unarmed Pc Keith Palmer was stabbed by Khalid Masood during the Westminster Bridge terror attack.

His death came after a police constable was run over by a suspected car thief in Birmingham last week.

The married 42-year-old traffic officer from West Midlands Police is facing “potentially life-changing” injuries, a senior officer told the PA news agency.

That came just days after Metropolitan Police constable Stuart Outten, 28, was left with head and hand injuries after challenging a motor offences suspect allegedly armed with a machete in Leyton, east London.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the death of Pc Harper a “mindless and brutal” crime, saying he was “shocked and appalled” by the attack.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said she had “instructed the Home Office to urgently explore what we can do to better support the families of our brave police officers who are seriously injured or worse by cowardly criminals”.

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