Pc Andrew Harper: Fundraiser for family of policeman killed on duty hits £120k goal in two days
More than £120,000 has been raised for the family and widow of Pc Andrew Harper, who was killed while responding to a suspected burglary.
The total has been raised in just two days by more than 6,000 donors, after being set up by fellow officers from the Thames Valley Police Federation.
Its organisers have not responded to it hitting its goal, though have said Mr Harper’s family will decide upon how the money is spent.
A statement on the fundraiser said: “We are courageous, caring and compassionate. We confront danger on a daily basis. We know there is a risk when we put on the uniform but we do so as we are proud to protect the public.
“Sadly on very rare and horrendous occasions a colleague makes the ultimate sacrifice. We will ensure that heroism is never forgotten. All our thoughts remain with Andrew’s wife, family, friends and close colleagues.
“The family of PC Harper will decide how money raised through the page is used.”
Pc Harper, who was married just four weeks before his death, died of multiple injuries after he was dragged along by a vehicle while investigating the burglary, which was reported on Thursday in the village of Bradfield Southend, Berkshire.
Ten males aged between 13 and 30 were arrested at a nearby caravan park within an hour of the incident and are still being questioned.
Pc Harper’s father, Philip, said the family have been “absolutely devastated” by the death, telling Sky News: “We’re in a bad place.”
Pc Harper, whose wedding with wife Lissie was described as a “dream”, was reportedly due to go on his honeymoon in a few days.
Images show the couple celebrating their wedding at the award-winning Ardington House, a Georgian manor set in gardens and parkland in Oxfordshire.
On Sunday, country roads near the Four Houses Corner caravan park were closed as police scoured ditches for evidence, near the site where the suspects were arrested.
Several forensic officers could be seen on Saturday gathered around what appeared to be a black hatchback car inside the park, which is near Burghfield Common.
Grieving officers laid floral tributes at the scene where their colleague was killed at the junction of Ufton Lane and Lambdens Hill and some could be seen embracing, while one wiped away a tear from her cheek.
One tribute, accompanied by an image of Pc Harper smiling with a friend, said: “Harps, I am truly gutted. A great cop, a great man, a great friend.
“There will always be a part of my heart missing now. RIP mate, love you.”
Thames Valley Chief Constable John Campbell said on Friday that Pc Harper joined as a special constable in 2010 before becoming a police officer a year later, serving in the Roads Policing Proactive Unit based at Abingdon.
Mr Campbell said Pc Harper was a “highly regarded, popular member of the team”, and said: “Everybody I’ve spoken to about Andrew talked about the incredible personality he was, what a fantastic police officer, and what a great friend and man he was, and he’ll be sorely missed by everybody.”
As well as the money for his family, a fundraising page set up by Pc Harper in aid of children suffering with cancer has been flooded with donations.
He made the page with a £500 target for the 20-mile, 200-obstacle Dirty Weekend race in Peterborough in May next year.
But a deluge of donations has seen thousands raised in aid of Children with Cancer UK.
He had written: “Even if only one child benefits then it will be well and truly worth it.”
Pc Harper is the first officer to be killed on duty since March 2017, when unarmed Pc Keith Palmer was stabbed by Khalid Masood during the Westminster Bridge terror attack.