Memorials have been held for Pc Andrew Harper ahead of the first anniversary of his death.

Thames Valley Police officers gathered on Friday for a series of services to mark Pc Harper’s death on August 15 last year.

The 28-year-old officer was dragged to his death after he was caught in a crane strap as he tried to stop three thieves fleeing after they stole a quad bike in Stanford Dingley, Berkshire.

At Newbury Police Station in the county, 20 officers gathered at a time outside the station for two socially distanced memorials with both uniformed and non-uniformed staff attending.

Simultaneous services were also held in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, and at a police training centre in Sulhamstead, attended by members of Pc Harper’s family.

At the memorial in Newbury, Inspector Al Hawkett led the tributes.

He told the officers: “We have all been deeply affected by Andrew’s death, whether we knew him personally or not.

“The senseless loss of a colleague is hard enough, but being newly married, made his death all the more heart-breaking.

“Andrew was a brave young police officer, killed whilst doing the job that he loved.”

Pc Andrew Harper (Family/Thames Valley Police/PA)
Pc Andrew Harper (Family/Thames Valley Police/PA)

Mr Hawkett said there would be “no sense of closure” for the officer’s family and friends.

He added: “Andrew’s tragic death is something that will stay with all of us forever.”

The senior officer later read out a poem written by Pc Harper’s widow Lissie, before he placed a wreath at the base of a half-mast flag outside of the station.

In the poem Mrs Harper described her husband as “kind and strong without venom or greed” and said she was lucky to be his wife.

Lissie Harper, the widow of Pc Andrew Harper (Aaron Chown/PA)
Lissie Harper, the widow of Pc Andrew Harper (Aaron Chown/PA)

It continued: “They will remember you now, so honest and true.

“King among men, forever dressed in blue.

“You’re a hero now my boy don’t you see.

“The truth is my love, you always were to me, Lissie.”

In addition to the memorials, officers across the Thames Valley region held a minute’s silence around 11 o’clock in memory of Pc Harper.

Three teenagers, Henry Long, 19, and 18-year-olds Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers were recently sentenced for the newlywed’s manslaughter.