A JustGiving Campaign that has been set up by the Thames Valley Police Federation has raised over £130,000 for PC Andrew Harpers family.
The campaign initially had a target of £10,000 when it was first set up by the treasurer of the federation on the 17th August.
But within one hour, this target had already been met.
The sponsor of the campaign, Andy Fidler, said:
“Thames Valley Police Federation are raising money for the family of PC Andrew Harper, the Police Officer who tragically gave his life on duty protecting the public on 15th August.
“Police officers all over Thames Valley and the rest of the UK go to work each and every day to do their duty.
“We are courageous, caring and compassionate.
Messages of support for PC Harper’s family came flooding in
“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.
“All our thoughts remain with Andrew’s wife, family, friends and close colleagues.
“The family of PC Harper will decide how money raised through the page is used”.
Thousands of donors made reference to the bravery of PC Harper
Early on in the campaign, donors had been calling for the target to be raised to £100,000 as messages of support for PC Harper’s family came flooding in.
Donations ranged from £5 up to £50 as kind-hearted members of the public as well as members of the emergency services offered their sincere condolences to PC Harper’s family.
PC Harper was killed while responding to a ‘suspects on call’ – an active burglary in progress incident – at around 11.30pm on Thursday (15/8) near to the A4, Bath Road, between Reading and Newbury.
The exact circumstances of the incident are still being investigated as ten males from a local travellers site were arrested shortly after the incident.
Detective Superintendent Ailsa Kent of the Major Crime Unit said:
“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, 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.
“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.
“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.”
PC Harper had married his wife only weeks before the incident and was due to go on his honeymoon this week.
Over the weekend, a minutes silence was held during the Reading Vs Cardiff match in memory of PC Harper.
A spokesperson for Thames Valley Police said:
‘Thank you to everyone who impeccably observed a minutes silence in memory of PC Andrew Harper during readings match with Cardiff City’
A spokesperson for Reading FC tweeted:
‘A minutes silence was impeccably observed prior to kick-off in memory of PC Andrew Harper, who tragically lost his life in the Reading area this week.
‘Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time’.
To visit PC Harper’s JustGiving page, click HERE.
The tragic death of PC Harper came only days after another police officer sustained life-threatening injuries after being hit by a car as he responded to reports of a vehicle theft.
PC Gareth Phillips, based with West Midlands Police, was knocked down and driven over while trying to arrest a suspected thief.
Gareth has undergone several operations and remains in hospital in a serious condition.
A JustGiving page was set up by Gareth’s colleagues and has so far raised £13,406.
Only days before PC Phillips was seriously injured, PC Stuart Outten, based with the Metropolitan Police, was attacked by a male armed with a machete.
PC Outten sustained serious wounds to his head and hands as he fought off his attacker.
PC Outten’s colleagues also set up a JustGiving page for PC Outten with a target of £500.
However, the number of donations quickly exceeding that target with the amount raised so far currently sitting at £5,280.
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