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Newlywed police officer was "dragged along by vehicle"

Pc Andrew Harper was killed after attending a reported burglary in West Berkshire

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper

dan.cooper@newburynews.co.uk

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Newlywed police officer was "dragged along by vehicle"

THE police officer who was killed while attending a reported burglary in West Berkshire last night was "dragged along by a vehicle".

Twenty-eight-year-old Pc Andrew Harper, who had married his girlfriend just four weeks ago, was "out of his police vehicle" at the time of the incident.

An investigation has been launched and ten people have been arrested on suspicion of murder, including a 13-year-old boy.

All ten are male and are currently being held in custody at different locations.

The incident happened at the crossroads of Ufton Lane and Lambdens Hill, near to Sulhamstead at around 11.30pm last night (Thursday).

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon (Friday), Thames Valley Police's Chief Constable, John Campbell, said the exact cause of Pc Harper's death was not yet known and that a post mortem examination was taking place today.

Chief constable Cambell was unable to say why Pc Harper was out of his car when he was struck.

He described Pc Harper, who worked as a roads policing officer based in Abingdon, as a "highly regarded, popular member of the team" and that his death had "shocked and saddened" his colleagues.

He added: "So many of them were at the scene and this is something that is clearly very distressing to them."

Mr Campbell was not able to say where the reported burglary had taken place or whether it was still ongoing at the time Pc Harper and his crew mate arrived at the scene.

He said the force were "keeping an open mind" as to whether anyone else, in addition to the ten arrested, might have been involved.

The force said it would fly its flags at half-mast "in honour and memory of Andrew".

A scene watch is still in place at the scene of the incident and Ufton Lane and Lambdens Hill remain closed.

However, the A4 Bath Road has since reopened.

Forensic investigators are at the scene, where two forensic tents have been put up.

Tributes to Pc Harper have been pouring in form around the world.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and a number of other senior politicians are among them.

Deputy Chief Constable Jason Hogg said: “Our deepest thoughts at this time are of course with Andrew’s friends and family, who are being supported by specially trained family liaison officers.

“Our thoughts also extend to all of Andrew’s colleagues within Thames Valley Police.

“As a force we are devastated at the loss of our colleague and will all be supporting each other at this difficult time.”

The attack on PC Harper is the third time in recent weeks an officer has been seriously hurt in the line of duty.

Metropolitan police constable Stuart Outten was stabbed in the head on 8 August.

Days later a 42-year-old West Midlands Police officer suffered serious head and pelvic injuries when he was run over with his own vehicle.

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