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Police officer killed in West Berkshire died of 'multiple injuries'

Pc Andrew Harper died after being 'dragged along by a vehicle'

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper

dan.cooper@newburynews.co.uk

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Police officer killed in West Berkshire died of 'multiple injuries'

A POLICE officer who was killed in West Berkshire died of "multiple injuries", a post-mortem has revealed.

Thames Valley Police also confirmed today that it has been given an extra 36 hours to question the 10 people currently being held on suspicion of murder.

Pc Andrew Harper, 28, was responding to reports of a burglary on Thursday when he was dragged along the road by a vehicle.

Ten males aged between 13 and 30 have been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Pc Harper, who got married four weeks ago, was killed on the A4 Bath Road in Sulhamstead.

Det Supt Ailsa Kent told a press conference: "A post-mortem was carried out on Andrew's body and the cause of death has been recorded as multiple injuries.

"The cause of death is consistent with our current belief that Andrew was caught between a vehicle and the road and then dragged for a distance."

She said the 10 boys and men had been arrested at council-run caravan and mobile home site Four Houses Corner, about three miles from where PC Harper died.

Detective Superintendent Kent added: “Our complex investigation into the death of PC Andrew Harper continues and I want to take this opportunity to provide an update.

“A Post Mortem was carried out on Andrew’s body yesterday, and the cause of death has been recorded as multiple injuries.

“The cause of death is consistent with our current belief that Andrew was caught between a vehicle and the road, and then dragged for a distance.

“However, the circumstances as to how Andrew came to be out of his vehicle and then caught under the suspect vehicle and dragged, is unknown.

“Therefore, I would reiterate our plea for the public and the media not to speculate on the circumstances of the incident while the investigation is ongoing.

“What we do know is that Andrew and his crewmate were attending a reported burglary in Bradfield Southend.

“While responding, the officers located a vehicle that was suspected to be involved in the burglary, in Lambdens Hill.

“As we stated yesterday, within an hour of the incident happening, we arrested ten males aged between 13 and 30 on suspicion of murder.

“I can confirm that the males were arrested from a local authority-run caravan and mobile home site, Four Houses Corner, in Reading Road near Burghfield Common.

“Earlier today we sought a 36 hour extension to their custody, and this was granted at Reading Magistrates’ Court.

“In respect of our investigation, we are interviewing those in custody, carrying out house to house enquiries, obtaining and reviewing CCTV footage, undertaking forensic examination, and taking witness statements.

“Earlier today, we had to again close The A4, Bath Road, near the junctions with Ufton Lane and Lambdens Hill, in order to carry out searches.

“The A4 has since been reopened, but Ufton Lane and Lambdens Hill remain closed.

“I want to thank local residents for their patience and cooperation while we carried out this vital work, and other enquiries at a number of other scenes across West Berkshire.

“I also want to thank the public and the wider police family for their messages of support during this extremely difficult time for everyone affected by Andrew’s death.

“We continue our appeal to anyone with any information about this incident to contact police by visiting our website or calling 101.

“Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

“Finally, our thoughts remain with Andrew’s friends, family and colleagues.”

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