Today (14/10), crowds gathered in Oxford to pay tribute to PC Andrew Harper.
PC Harper died following an incident on Thursday, 15 August in Sulhamstead, Berkshire.
A police funeral took place in the city where our officers and staff gathered to honour Andrew along the processional route and were joined by our wider policing family, other emergency services, partners and members of public.
Over 800 people attended a service held at Christ Church Cathedral at 11am before PC Harper’s family left for a private ceremony. Those attending included Thames Valley Police Chief Constable, John Campbell, many of Andrew’s colleagues and Chief Officers from other forces. Her Majesty’s Government was represented by the Home Secretary RT Hon Priti Patel, MP.
The service was led by TVP Chaplain Revd Helen Arnold. The Dean of Christ Church, The Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy gave the address and the blessing was given by the Bishop of Oxford, The Rt Revd Steven Croft.
Moving tributes were given by Andrew’s wife Lissie and PC Jordan Johnstone from the Roads Policing Unit.
The Chief Constable, John Campbell read a poem by Henry Scott Holland “Death is nothing at all” and the TVP Vocals Choir sang ‘The Lord Is My Shepherd’ during the service conducted by Ruth Wilkinson. Following the church service, there was a private cremation and wake.
Lissie, read a eulogy in which she said: “Today I would like to remember and honour the kind brave and lovely man we all know. We are all here just for you…
“You have always been a protector. Whether in your role of big brother, fierce friend, loving husband or keeper of peace among the public, keeping everyone safe was your priority, not only in your job but your family too. Everything was always okay when you were around…
“He loved to be part of a team and had a work ethic to admire. Looking around me today I know that he was classed so very highly among his peers, known for being proactive, kind and fair…
“Aside from the police however, Andrew treasured his family above all else, a country boy who loved the outdoors, picnics, BBQs and walking.
“To many of you Andrew was a lovely little part of your lives or even just someone who was always there on the periphery of life. However to me Andrew was everything, my breakfast buddy, my dancing partner, the love of my life…
“If everyone on this earth had just an ounce of the kindness and generosity that Andrew had, I know that it would be a better place.”
PC Andrew Harper was 28-years-old and joined Thames Valley Police in 2010 as a special constable before becoming a full time regular officer in 2011.
He was part of the Proactive Roads Policing Team based at Abingdon and had joined that team three weeks before his death. He had been a roads policing officer for three years.
Thames Valley Police Chief Constable John Campbell said: “Today, we have honoured our friend and colleague Andrew Harper.
“The senseless loss of Andrew who was simply doing his job, is hard enough but his personal circumstances, having recently been married, makes his death all the more heart-breaking. My heartfelt thoughts are with his wife Lissie, as well as his family and friends at this terrible time.
“Thames Valley Police would like to thank everyone who came to Oxford today to pay tribute to Andrew and to all those who have supported us to give a fitting tribute.
“Andrew was an exceptional police officer and we will continue to honour his memory as we work to keep our communities safe.”
A selection of images from today:
TVP Chief Constable John Campbell salute, Copyright: Thames Valley Police
TVP Standard lowered with Guard of Honour, Copyright: Thames Valley Police
Chief Constable John Campbell inside Cathedral, Copyright: Thames Valley Police
PC Jordan Johnstone inside Cathedral, Copyright: Thames Valley Police