PFCC welcomes ‘Harper’s Law’
Offenders whose crimes lead to the death of an emergency service worker in the line of duty will receive mandatory life sentences under a new law brought about after the death of a police officer, Andrew Harper.
The ruling, announced by the government, follows a two-year campaign by Lissie Harper, whose husband Andrew was killed while answering a late-night burglary call.
The new legislation, named Harper’s law, will make it on to the statute books through an amendment to the existing police, crime, sentencing and courts bill, and is likely to take effect early next year.
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, has lobbied hard to get harsher sentenced for those who harm emergency workers whilst they are on duty.
He said: “Everyday police officers and firefighters walk towards danger to help the vulnerable with no thought for their own safety. I hope they all know the people of Essex really do appreciate what they do. On behalf of those residents, I would like to say thank you to every single person in Essex who works to keep the county safe and know that we support you.”
Supporting officers and staff is a priority in the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan.
He said: “My objective is to ensure that the officers, staff and volunteers receive the support they need to keep delivering an outstanding service to the public, that they reflect all of our communities across Essex and can go about their work safely. I want to ensure that they are all are supported and recognised for the contribution they make to preventing crime and keeping our county safe.”
To achieve this, the PFCC will:
- Support the proposed Police Covenant and ensure this works for our officers, staff and volunteers in Essex.
- Push for the doubling of sentences for assaults on Emergency Service Workers.
- Ensure effective support and investment in health and wellbeing services, acknowledging the difficult and challenging situations that officers and staff may experience in the course of their duties.
- Foster a supportive culture within Essex Police and the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner’s office with an increase in diversity and an inclusive recruitment and development strategy so that people from all segments of our community can aspire to serve the public through these services.
- Invest in those who volunteer for the roles within the PFCC’s office including Restorative Justice, Independent Custody Visitors and Dog Welfare Visitors to ensure they feel skilled, valued and appreciated.
Find out more about the Police and Crime Plan for Essex here: