Murder investigation launched after roads policing officer killed
A Thames Valley Police officer has died while attending a reported burglary in Berkshire.
The force has made ten arrests after it launched a murder investigation.
A spokesperson said a serious incident occurred at around 11.30pm on Thursday (August 15) at the crossroads of Ufton Lane and Lambdens Hill, near to Sulhamstead.
“Tragically, Police Constable Andrew Harper from the Roads Policing Proactive Unit based at Abingdon Police Station, who was attending a reported burglary, was killed while performing his duties.”
It has since emerged that the officer, who joined the service in 2011, got married just four weeks ago.
Ten people, all male aged between 13 and 30, have been arrested on suspicion of murder and are currently in police custody at various police stations across the Thames Valley.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he is “deeply shocked and appalled” by the news.
“It is the most powerful reminder that police officers up and down the country put themselves at risk every single day to keep us safe,” Mr Johnson said.
“They have my absolute support.”
Chief Constable John Campbell said flags will be flown at half mast on police buildings across the force.
And he thanked staff and officers, as well as other emergency services, who attended the scene. It is understood roads policing officers from Hampshire also assisted in the incident.
Mr Campbell asked media not to speculate on the circumstances while the investigation is ongoing.
Deputy Chief Constable Jason Hogg added: “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.”
Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Blaik, of the Major Crime Unit, said: “This is a tragic incident, and I would like to reassure the public as well as our officers and staff that we have launched a full and thorough investigation to establish what has happened.”
Andy Fiddler, from Thames Valley Police Federation, said: “This is totally devastating news. All our thoughts – and the thoughts of the entire police family across the UK – are with the family, friends and close colleagues of PC Andrew Harper who died last night.
“Police officers go to work each and every day to do their duty. 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.”
He added: “We are offering our full support to the officer’s family and colleagues at this simply awful time.”