THE widow of a police officer killed in the line of duty has been awarded an MBE for her campaign work changing the law.

Lissie Harper has been awarded in the King’s New Year’s Honours List for her help introducing Harper’s Law, which means anyone convicted of killing an emergency services worker while committing a crime will face a mandatory life sentence.

The legal reform was added to the statute book on April 28 this year.

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It is named after Mrs Harper’s husband, PC Andrew Harper, 28, who was killed while answering a late-night burglary call.

He died from his injuries when he was caught in a strap attached to the back of a getaway car and dragged down a winding country road as his teenage killers fled the scene of a quad bike theft on August 15, 2019.

Oxford Mail: PC Andrew Harper. Picture: Thames Valley Police handoutPC Andrew Harper. Picture: Thames Valley Police handout (Image: Thames Valley Police)

Mrs Harper will now receive an MBE for ‘services to victims of violent crime and their families’.

Speaking at the time of the legal reform being passed, Mrs Harper said: “Twenty months ago, in the midst of grief and incomprehensible loss, I set out on a journey for justice.

“I knew it would take time and a lot of hard work, but in my mind there was no other option than to make Harper’s Law a reality.

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“Today marks the success of all of that hard work, campaigning for change.

“Today I can say that it was all worth it as Harper’s Law becomes just that – a law that is in the statute books.

“The law – as we demanded – will introduce mandatory life sentences for anyone convicted of killing an emergency worker whilst committing a crime.

“Almost three years ago my husband was robbed of his life and we were both robbed of our future together. Nothing will ever change that. This law will not change the outcome for his killers.

Oxford Mail: Lissie and Andrew Harper Lissie and Andrew Harper

“But no longer will a family have to endure the pain of injustice in court as I did those many months ago – and that is a significantly powerful outcome.

“Trying to put into words what the instatement of our new law means to me is difficult.

“I am just pleased that the Government and the people we have been working with have stuck to their word.

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“Harper’s Law was so needed in our country and we did it, finally our court systems may see some justice prevail within them.

“I will never be rid of the hollowness that the burden of grief inflicts, but I know without hesitation that my husband Andrew would be immensely proud of this achievement in his name.

“Andrew believed in fairness and peace. He had the strongest moral compass of anyone I ever met and that is why I know without a shadow of a doubt that he is smiling down at me with pride and love as Harper’s Law, his legacy is now achieved.”


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This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Abingdon, Didcot, Wallingford and Wantage.

Get in touch with her by emailing:

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