Police and Crime Commissioner backs Harper's Law to protect emergency workers
- Credit: Archant
Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd has backed plans to protect emergency workers from violent criminals.
'Harper's Law' - named after PC Andrew Harper, who died in the line of duty in 2019 - will introduce mandatory life sentences for anyone convicted of killing an emergency worker while committing a crime.
The Ministry of Justice aims to pass Harper's Law in England and Wales "as soon as possible". It will cover police, prison officers, firefighters and paramedics, and will be applied unless there are truly exceptional circumstances.
Mr Lloyd said: “We need to protect our protectors. This is excellent news that people who kill police officers, and other emergency workers, will now face greater penalties.
"It may save a live if it makes offenders stop and think about their actions.
"Police officers do an extremely difficult and demanding job, and we should all be thankful.
"Any law which reduces the chance of them being attacked and seriously injured or killed has my full backing.”
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The change in the law follows a long campaign by Lissie Harper, the widow of PC Andrew Harper.
Newly-married PC Harper was dragged to his death by a getaway car in August 2019. Three teenagers were jailed for manslaughter after the incident.
Lissie said: “Emergency services workers require extra protection. I know all too well how they are put at risk and into the depths of danger on a regular basis on behalf of society.
"That protection is what Harper’s Law will provide and I am delighted that it will soon become a reality.
“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."
There were approximately 10,000 convictions for assaults on emergency workers last year across England and Wales.