PC Andrew Harper's widow Lissie: Our 'hero' emergency services workers deserve more respect
Lissie Harper, the widow of Thames Valley police officer PC Andrew Harper, spoke candidly with the Loose Women about life after her husband’s death and her determination to create a new law in his name.
PC Harper was killed in the line of duty in August 2019 and Lissie has been campaigning for a new piece of legislation, Harper’s Law, which would impose a minimum life sentence on those found guilty of killing emergency services workers.
She told the panel that her work on Harper’s Law has helped her to cope in the year since her husband’s death. "Grief is just something that you can never expect to deal with and there’s no correct way to deal with it," she explained.
"I think finding something that you can do for the person that you have lost is immeasurably important and it’s certainly helped me. To give me that kind of focus, but also to know that I am doing something that would make him proud."
Lissie admitted that the "surrealness" of Andrew’s death, just four weeks after they were married, still hasn’t passed and said it has changed everything for her. "I've kind of got two choices, either I keep going or I do something that he would be proud of and that’s what I've chosen, I suppose."
"There’s no right or wrong way to deal with this. At the beginning it was heartbreaking, and it still is every day, but I think you just have to deal with it as best we can."
On assault cases rising against emergency workers, Lissie added: “I think, you know, slowly over the years things have been changing and to be honest, even when Andrew started his career, almost ten years ago, it’s changed so much in that short amount of time."
"But people just don’t have the respect for these people anymore and I don't think a lot of people realise how dangerous these jobs are and that we really need to appreciate and protect them. And it’s a shame because a lot of these people are our heroes and we’re just not appreciating them as we should."
Watch Lissie's powerful interview in the video above and catch the full episode on the ITV Hub.
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