Ten men between ages 13 and 30 have been arrested in connection with the murder of a 28-year-old police officer who was killed while investigating a burglary.
The police officer, Andrew Harper, died at 11:30 pm on Thursday in Berkshire. Police in Thames Valley have kept details about Harper’s death to an absolute minimum, saying only that he was investigating a burglary just before being murdered.
Harper, 28, had only been married just four weeks earlier. The newly-wed police officer was due to go on honeymoon next week, the Sun reports.
Jason Hogg, the Deputy Chief Constable at Thames Valley Police had this to say about the officer’s death: “Our deepest thoughts at this time are of course with Andrew’s friends and family, who are being supported by specially trained family liaison officers. Our thoughts also extend to all of Andrew’s colleagues within Thames Valley Police. As a force we are devastated at the loss of our colleague and will all be supporting each other at this difficult time.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also commented on the death, saying, “I am deeply shocked and appalled by the death of a brave officer on duty in Thames Valley last night. My thoughts are with PC Harper’s family, friends and colleagues at this terrible time.”
Johnson then added, “It is the most powerful reminder that police officers up and down the country put themselves at risk every single day to keep us safe. They have my absolute support.”
Priti Patel, the Secretary of State for the Home Department who is in charge of law and order in the country, said, “My thoughts are with the family of PC Andrew Harper who was killed in the line of duty last night.”
Around 1 pm on Thursday, a man believed to be a Home Office security guard was stabbed in the face just steps from Patel’s Home Office building.
The murder of PC Andrew Harper happened less than 7 days after two other British police officers were violently attacked while out on patrol in east London. After the two police officers conducted a vehicle stop for a traffic-related offense, the suspect suddenly attacked and stabbed Stuart Outten in the head with a machete.
Three days later, an officer in Birmingham was run over by his own police vehicle after trying to arrest a suspected car thief. The officer had to be rushed to the hospital to receive emergency treatment for serious injuries to his head and pelvis.
As per official government statistics, there were more than 30,000 assaults on police officers in England and Wales in 2018 and 2019. Crimes which involved “assault with injury on a constable” rose by a shocking 27 percent.
In response to Britain’s growing violent crime problem, Prime Minister Johnson revealed a plan last week that would see the training of 20,000 new police officers and the expansion of the police power to stop-and-search.
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Author: Arthur Lyons
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