Speaking a year after she launched her campaign, Lissie said: “Our protectors need our protection, to know that we appreciate everything they do for us, that running towards danger when everyone else runs away from it will not be met with injustice like it did for my husband. “We know this won’t happen overnight but, make no mistake, I will not allow this to be kicked into the long grass.” Lissie was robbed of her childhood sweetheart four weeks after their wedding when he was dragged to death while investigating a quad bike burglary in Bradfield Southend, Berks, in August 2019.
PC Harper, 28, suffered horrific injuries after his feet got caught in a towing strap hanging from the boot of the thieves’ getaway car as it sped away.
The three killers were cleared of murder at the Old Bailey in July last year. Car driver Henry Long, who was 18 at the time, admitted manslaughter and was jailed for 16 years.
Accomplices Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole, then both 17, were found guilty of manslaughter and were each jailed for 13 years. They were all ordered to serve two-thirds of their sentences in custody rather than the usual half.
The jail terms provoked a furious public debate and Lissie launched her Harper’s Law campaign. Since then, more than 758,000 people have signed her online petition.
Lissie said: “One year ago I embarked on a journey to make an important change in the law. Surged by the brutal and criminal way in which my husband PC Andrew Harper was killed on duty – and the inadequate punishment the perpetrators received – the Harper’s Law campaign was formed. Over many years of being the partner of a police officer, a frontline hero, I often felt that worry that we all do when they go off to work, knowing the true dangers that they face.
“Day after day, police officers – and sadly many of our emergency services heroes – look danger in the eyes and carry on regardless. They put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public, so we need to give something back.
“It has been a long process – and one that still continues – to make this change and one in which I hope will soon become a reality, a law which should already be in place.”
Harper’s Law would mean that anyone found guilty of killing a police officer, firefighter, nurse, doctor, paramedic or prison officer, as a direct result of a crime they have committed, would be jailed for life.
Lissie said: “This would provide a strong deterrent and an appropriate punishment for such a heinous crime.”
She thanked the public for their support and urged more people to sign the petition at change.org. She added: “We will continue to keep putting the pressure on politicians and continue to implore the Home Office to get things done now.”
Lissie hopes to have further meetings with Home Secretary Priti Patel and Justice Secretary Robert Buckland in “the very near future”.