UK to introduce severe punishment for killing emergency service workers
02:50, 25 November 2021
Photo: NSW Police/police.nsw.gov.au
The so-called Harper’s law implying a life sentence is expected to be passed following a high-profile murder of a police officer on duty.
The British government has endorsed the initiative to give mandatory life sentences to the murderers of emergency workers. The so-called Harper’s law is now expected to be passed in England and Wales as soon as possible.
In case it gets approved, the law will impose mandatory life sentences for the killers of emergency service workers on duty, including police officers, National Crime Agency officers, prison officers, custody officers, firefighters, and paramedics.
The project has been supported by the Ministry of Justice after a two-year campaign launched by the widow of police constable Andrew Harper after her husband was killed by three teenagers in August 2019.
"It's been a long journey and a lot of hard work. I know Andrew would be proud to see Harper's Law reach this important milestone," Lissie Harper said.
Emergency workers risk their lives every day to protect us. Itâs our turn to protect the protectors
We're introducing a new law to toughen the sentence for killing an emergency worker in the line of duty.
Justice Secretary Dominic Raab revealed he was astonished by Lissie’s campaign and promised to pass the law in the upcoming months. The change is expected to come into effect via an amendment to the existing Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Bill to be approved at the beginning of 2022.
"This Government is on the side of victims and their families and we want our emergency services to know that we'll always have their back."
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a post on his Twitter account expressing admiration for the widow and confirming the law’s approval.
Lissie Harper has campaigned tirelessly for justice following the appalling killing of her husband PC Andrew Harper in 2019.
I was honoured to meet her on the day we committed to bring in Harperâs Law, which gives emergency workers greater protection from violent criminals. pic.twitter.com/QIPYY7fs7d
Andrew Harper, 28 at that time, died from injuries he suffered on August 15, 2019, after allegedly being caught in a strap and dragged along a road by a vehicle.
The wrongdoers Henry Long, 19, Jessie Cole, and Albert Bowers, both 18, were convicted of manslaughter and received terms of 16 years for Long and 13 years for Cole and Bowers.
Utter scum - three travellers Henry Long (19) Jessie Cole (18) and Albert Bowers convicted of the manslaughter of #pcharper . The extent of PC Harper's injuries were so horrific they have not been reported. pic.twitter.com/4Gfr93BtC0