PC Andrew Harper was a committed young police officer with his career lying ahead of him; a career in which he would have been repeatedly asked to put himself in harm’s way in order to protect the public and enforce law and order. He would have delivered on those challenges to protect you, me and the British public in general. So why is it that the same public appears to be so accepting of his death, so accepting of a conviction for manslaughter and so accepting of the attitude of the three who caused his death; the three who laughed, joked and showed complete contempt for Andrew’s life, the heart-breaking suffering of his wife and family and for the British justice system itself.
What we have read, seen and heard in regard to this crime is truly appalling and it is time that we demanded change to a justice system which has so evidently failed Andrew and his family, not to mention our police service as a whole. During my career I have had the honour and privilege to present awards at a number of annual Police events and I can assure you it is a very humbling experience; to actually hear what these public servants do without hesitation or consideration for their own safety, on an almost daily basis is simply amazing. We all have an opinion on the police, but the reality is that they are under the most severe pressure they have ever experienced, undermanned, underfunded and in many ways unappreciated. I have never met a cop who doesn’t recognise that they are far from perfect, but how could they be. Despite the issues I have mentioned, what they need most is the understanding and support of the public, to help them keep us all safe and to deliver a demanding role without which a civilised society could not exist.
I’m not a law practitioner and I don’t want to get drawn into an argument on human rights or any such issue. My point is this; PC Andrew Harper was murdered in the most brutal, callous and contemptuous manner by men who did not give a second thought to his killing. They continue to show absolutely no remorse and indeed, find the whole case against them to be a source of fun and an opportunity to add to the grief of PC Harper’s family. As a proud Brit, I feel shame that we no longer seem to possess the common decency or strength of character as a people to demand that the charges be reviewed with a view to whether a murder charge is more appropriate. Either way, the sentence given must take account of the behaviour of these cowards and the suffering they have heaped on the Harper family. Given the current charges against them, I fear true justice cannot be delivered and that is simply wrong.