Rachel has welcomed a new law which will introduce mandatory life sentences for anyone convicted of killing an emergency worker whilst committing a crime.
Today’s announcement follows an unwavering campaign by the family of PC Andrew Harper who was killed in the line of duty in 2019.
Henry Long, Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers each received custodial sentences of between 13 and 19 years in prison for PC Harper’s manslaughter. An appeal by the Attorney General to increase their time behind bars was rejected.
Ministers are determined to make sure that punishments fit the severity of the crime and are determined to introduce the law as soon as possible.
‘Harper’s Law’ extends mandatory life sentences to anyone who commits the manslaughter of an emergency worker on duty – including police, prison officers, firefighters and paramedics – while carrying out another crime unless there are truly exceptional circumstances. Courts must already impose life sentences for murder, with a whole-life order being the starting point if the victim is a police officer.
In welcoming the new law, Rachel said:
“Those who put their lives on the line to protect us should receive the full protection of the law and criminal justice system.
“I want to pay tribute to Lissie Harper for her extraordinary campaign on this issue following the appalling killing of her husband PC Andrew Harper.”